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Sports violence The Growing Problem of Violence in Sports Bench clearing brawls in baseball bloody hockey fights soccer mobs post-game sports riots and increasing injuries are all images of todays sports that are familiar to us In recent years players and fans alike have shown increased aggression when it comes to sporting events One of the most disturbing trends in sports is the increasing frequency and severity of violence Injuries and deaths among participants are on the rise as are injuries and deaths among fans and spectators Violence in sports is an important issue because sports themselves are an important aspect in our lives and the society we live in Their importance however should not be greater than our concern about preserving the values and aspects of our society The problem of sports violence has become a worldwide phenomenon that is an unacceptable growing social problem Sports violence can be defined as behavior by a player coach or fan that is intended to inflict pain or cause injury Berger 8 Sports violence causes harm breaks the rules of the game and is unrelated to the competitive objectives of the sport Leonard identifies two forms of aggression in sports Instrumental aggression which is non-emotional and task-oriented and reactive aggression which has an underlying emotional component with harm as its goal 165 Violence is the outcome of reactive aggression There are three major theories of aggression in sports The biological theory psychological theory and the social learning theory Leonard 170-171 The biological theory sees aggression as a basic innate human characteristic in which sports is seen as a socially acceptable way to discharge built-up aggression 170 The psychological theory states that aggression is caused by frustration and is situational 170 In sports frustration can be caused by questionable calls by officials failure to make a certain play injuries heckling from spectators or taunts by coaches and players
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