Thesis statement: Violence is behaviour involving physical force with the intention to hurt. Although certain sports are perceived to be violent, the intention of sports was never to promote violence, but to promote other values such as teamwork.
Basketball, volleyball, handball and hockey are just a few examples of the many sports which promote the importance of being a team player in sports. For example, in basketball, there are usually 5 players on a court at any point in time, and each of these players have a position. Point guards and shooting guards are just two of the five positions on a basketball team; point guards are usually the shortest members of the team, but they are best ball handlers in the team, shooting guards are the best shooters in the team, but not necessarily the best ball handlers. Basketball makes use of both the strengths and weaknesses of each member to come up with the best team dynamics possible during a match. Nobody is useless just because they are short or just because they are really bad at passing the ball, everyone in the team is key for the team to succeed and win.
However, it is debatable that some sports are very violent, such as boxing. In recent years, the world has been concerned about boxing and the influence watching such a violent sport live on television has on children. In fact, many people want boxing to be banned, for the fear that this sport will teach children to use their fists instead of using their wits when in trouble. But professional boxers we see on live television are consenting adults who know the risks they are taking when they play such a violent sport, they do wear padded gloves and mouthpieces during matches, and there are rules in place of prevent serious injury from occurring in the ring – boxers are not allowed to hit their opponents below the belt, hold, trip, kick, head-butt, wrestle, spit on or push their opponents. As violent as boxing can seem, there are such rules and regulations in place to prevent serious injury, and hence boxing does not have the intent to promote violent behaviour, because there is no intention to purposely hurt anyone during the game of boxing.
What about other sports which are deemed violent? Boxing is not the only sport to be thought of as violent, football is another sport which is considered violent – in fact football is considered to be a full-contact sport in certain places. A full-contact sport is a sport where significant impact force on the players, both accidental and deliberate, is allowed for within the rules of the game. Just recently, Jack Miller, the starting centre of the Michigan Wolverines, has announced that he is leaving the football team due to the fear of brain damage. When asked if he would like a future son to play football in the future, he said he was not sure; although football taught him a lot about life, it was not worth the serious injury playing the game could cause. But there is a new NFL policy now – a medical time-out can be called if a player seems disoriented during the game. Such policies help to mitigate situations where a player could have been potentially injured during a scrimmage for the ball. As such, are we right to say sports does have the intention of promoting violence? Additionally, football is another game which requires strong team dynamics – linemen help to block the shots, backs and receivers who are better at handling balls are those who are responsible for bringing the ball past the line of scrimmage during play. Without the linemen who would block passes? Without backs and receivers, who would bring the ball to the end zone? Playing sports can be seen as a display of violence at times, but teamwork is the real value of sports, and is what playing sports help to foster between individuals.