I’m a sports fan but am really wondering what is wrong with the world of sports. First you have that ugly melee when several of the Indiana Pacers got involved in an all-out brawl with fans of the Detroit Pistons. The fans and the players were out of control and unbridled violence was the result – it was shocking and disturbing. You just need to see it to understand. Now it is not surprising that in the thuggish world of the NBA you’d have a fight like that – what’s surprising is the complete breakdown that led to a chaotic brawl where someone could have been seriously injured or even killed.
Then, on Saturday, the Clemson and South Carolina football teams got in a similarly ugly brawl. Fans in Spain were shouting racial epithets at black English soccer players in an ugly incident earlier in the week.
Adrenaline run amok? A society and culture with a predisposition to celebrate violence as a form of misguided bravada and manhood? A culture that makes way way too much of sport (I’m speaking as a sports fan here)? Even the atmosphere at games can be pretty ugly with taunting from fans at ridiculous levels, and abusive language the norm. A big part of that is probably the fact that many people seem unable to enjoy a sporting event without vast amounts of beer. Any way you slice it the sports culture in this country seems to be increasingly problematic.