Sport and Violence: A Critical Examination of Sport

Sport and Violence: A Critical Examination of Sport

Sport and Violence: A Critical Examination of Sport

Sport and Violence: A Critical Examination of Sport


Sport and Violencetakes a critical look at the culture of 'sports rage' and aggression in the sporting industry, covering ethical, historical and sociological causes and impacts. It examines international examples of sport violence, including: the father of a tennis competitor placing a drug in the drinks of her competitors; a player's neck broken after being attacked from behind by an opponent in an NHL game; hooliganism in international soccer and more. The book not only attempts to explain how and why such violence originates, it examines its impact on society outside sport and suggests potential remedies for the problem. This book:

  • Examines the culture of violence that permeates and surrounds sport, including the sociological causes of that violence, and what can be done to mitigate them
  • Features an international perspective with examples of sport violence from throughout the world
  • Offers a historical view on the evolution of violence in sport

Its up-to-date and in-depth coverage of a controversial issue makes this book a valuable asset to both sports students and professionals working in sports management.


It is not often that one is inspired to write a book that reads like a novel but is fully based on truth. This book is inspired by a growing concern about real experiences that began primarily when a seven-year-old child was viewed being kicked by his father on a flag football field, when an adult touch football player decked an official, when post-game rioters damaged a city’s football field, when a volunteer coach shouted a racist epithet at a five-year-old baseball player, when parents bribed a coach to play their child over another, when an irate teammate damaged a fellow hockey player’s car, when a hazing initiation rite for a boy’s soccer team involved placing a choke collar on a freshman player and running him through an electrified invisible fence, when a high school athletic director claimed there were no written policies on hiring and supervision of their coaches, and when parents of an under 12 girls fast pitch team barricaded officials in a room after a hotly contested national game. This listing, while only a small subset of the full range of observations, represented a cadre of ongoing interactions that are similar to what is happening in every sector of sport around the world.

The inspiration grew when it was realized that children were playing games that mimicked professional teams, that parents became agents for their children, that children were being exploited by organizations, that children were younger and younger when starting sophisticated sports, that injuries were rising in younger players, that reports of abusive behaviors on the part of adult role models were becoming criminal, that children were quitting involvement because it wasn’t ‘fun’ anymore, and that a majority of states developed anti-hazing and anti-sport violence laws. It became evident that something needed to be done to counteract the continual problems arising in all phases of the sport experience. Indeed, it was time to provide facts and solutions to an increasingly pervasive social problem. In addition, it was becoming evident that regardless of the number of organizations that held regulatory influence over sport, violent acts were becoming more a part of mainstream experience regardless of age, gender, ability, race, ethnicity, religion, and other differentiating factors.

This inspiration, now complete in a text that examines these social phenomena from theoretical and realistic perspectives, now has become a call to end sport violence around the world through improvements in . . .

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