Violence in Sports Tough Call for Courts

By Goff, Karen Goldberg | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 17, 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Violence in Sports Tough Call for Courts


Goff, Karen Goldberg, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Boxers punch until they draw blood. Football players are called for unnecessary roughness in a rough game. Hockey players race around the rink on razor-sharp blades, slamming opponents into the boards; fighting is as much a part of the sport as the Zamboni.

So where is the line between sport and assault? Is a bench-clearing brawl part of the game or a reason for arrest? Is a late hit a misdemeanor, a felony or, for fans, worth the price of admission?

To be sure, the line is a blurry one. Recently, two minor league hockey players were charged with assault for on-ice incidents. While Jesse Boulerice of the Plymouth Whalers (Ontario Hockey League) and Dean Trboyevich of the Anchorage Aces (Western Hockey League) were barred from their respective teams - Trboyevich for the season - each still might face a trial, fine and jail time.

A judge will decide soon whether to go forward in the case of Boulerice, a Philadelphia Flyers prospect who smacked Andrew Long of the Guelph Storm in the face with his stick during a playoff game last spring. Long suffered a blood spot on his brain, a broken nose and cheekbone and required 20 stitches to close the cut on his face.

"I couldn't stop shaking," Long said. "There was blood everywhere."

Long filed a complaint with police, and Boulerice was charged with assault to do great bodily harm less than murder. However, Boulerice's attorney, James Howarth, is confident the case will be dismissed.

"If what Jesse Boulerice did was criminal, then thousands of `hockey crimes' are committed on a daily basis," Mr. Howarth said from his Detroit office. "Every penalty for slashing, high-sticking or cross-checking must, of necessity, be considered to be at least a felonious assault. When a person decides to play hockey, especially on the level of the OHL, there must be an anticipation that rough play will cross the line and result in penalties. Penalties will result in injuries.

"A person who walks on his or her residential neighborhood street does not expect to be tripped or struck with a stick," Mr. Howarth said in his legal brief. "Hockey players, on the other hand, know with certainty that they will be subjected to those seemingly anti-social intrusions."

Police in Fresno, Calif., will decide whether to present Trboyevich's case, which includes a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, to the district attorney. Trboyevich cross-checked the Fresno Falcons' Jacques Maihot, causing a bench-clearing brawl. Maihot was not seriously injured. Trboyevich was arrested between periods.

"The actions that occurred are not acceptable at any level of hockey," said West Coast League President Mike McCall.

But were the actions criminal? Legal history would say no.

In the past, no matter how brutal the check or the tackle or punch thrown in anger, it is a far reach to back it up in criminal court. While many civil cases have been decided in favor of the injured, there has never been a successful criminal prosecution.

Three times since 1972, a Federal Sports Violence Act has been proposed to Congress, but never enacted, suggesting that not only that state laws do not cover sports violence, but that any attempt to criminalize violence within contact sports is not within the realm of public policy.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Violence in Sports Tough Call for Courts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.