Many people across the globe find a great passion in the world of sports. Football, soccer, tennis, or mountain unicycling, it doesn't matter. We watch or play sports because we enjoy them; something we all seem to be forgetting. Nobody watches a game anymore without wanting to yell at an athlete, coach, or referee. Our passion for the game is clouding our judgment and rational thought, and it needs to come to an end.
In fact, a trend of violence is beginning to surface. We see players brawling on the field and exchanging blows, but it doesn’t end with the players. Parents fought with each other right in front of their kids at a youth soccer match in Mallorca, Spain. A football referee in Rochester, New York was smashed in the face with a player’s face mask. A 17-year-old soccer official in Valencia, Spain who delivered a red card, was nearly beaten to death and had to have his spleen surgically removed. All of this, for a game, and it gets worse.
As if the fervent beatings aren’t enough, people have actually died. Take soccer, for example. After receiving a yellow card, a 17-year-old athlete in Utah punched an official, who later died of internal bleeding. A volunteer linesman in the Netherlands was kicked to death by an angry parent. A referee in Argentina was shot after doling out a red card. An official in Brazil was decapitated, and his head was displayed on a steak after separating a fight on the field, and stabbing a player. To some, wars don’t even permit proper justification for manslaughter, so how can we justify this? How can we condone the killing of people over something as generally insignificant to our lives as a game?
While not always to this extreme, we constantly see this in our own lives as well. A game is never just a game anymore. Everyone yells at the referees on the TV and throws the remote when a call doesn’t go our way.
High school sports is a perfect example. Just look at the dirty plays, snide remarks, fights, and parents yelling at refs or the other team. Our own community is not immune to this. Recently, a coach from Lowry suffered injuries in an altercation with a parent from another team.
I enjoy playing and watching sports, and I get as competitive as the next person, but we’re forgetting that a game is only that; a game. As a society, we need to that get figured out pretty quick before it becomes an even bigger problem and ruins the game for everyone.