Fighting in Hockey

Still today, there is a continued debate on whether fighting should be allowed or banned in the National Hockey League (NHL). In generalization, most people see that physically fighting someone, fist-to-fist, is a negative conflict. However, in certain sports fighting is the main objective of the sport. For instance boxing, kickboxing, or the rising sport of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Then people look at NHL, and point out that fighting is not the main purpose or goal of the sport.

People who disapprove of the fighting also believe that getting rid of the fights in hockey may draw in new fans. Fans that may see this newly constructed form of hockey as “family-friendly”. Although these people are trying to persuade the league into banning fights, there main focus as fans of the NHL, and maybe even the parents of the kids who play hockey, are to argue that fighting invokes a unsafe playing environment for the players, and also gives a bad national image to the sport of hockey and the good fundamentals of sportsmanship in general.

Hockey may be a full contact sport, but many concerned people believe that banning fights in hockey leads to a safer environment for athletes to compete in, and can also have many other benefits to the sport. Although banning fights in the NHL may have its benefits, fighting should not be eliminated from the sport of hockey in the NHL because of the tradition it upholds, the loss of fans, the fact that hockey is already “physical” and entertains people.

So why is the issue of hockey fights being debated in the NHL? It’s mainly due to the concern for the safety of the athletes, who by the way are professionals, which means that money is involved if injury was to occur. With economics being meshed into the issue, fighting becomes a huge reason why this topic is highly argued amongst the fans, players, general mangers, and even the team owners. With possible money issues and athlete injury risks on the line, why not just get rid of fighting now? EVIDENCE SECTION) In my major essay to counter act the fact that fights can lead to money loss due to the injury of a player, I will state that many people that watch the NHL are mostly intrigued and excited by the fights. According to the National Hockey League Fans Association (NHLFA) 91% of the fans oppose the full ban of fights in NHL games (www. nhlfa. com). So with the absence of fights in the NHL, there will be a loss of fans that watch the sport on television, and also a loss in attendance of fans at the sporting event.

With less people interested of the sport, and less people watching the game either at home or at the event, there will be greater economic loss to a team with less revenue and income, than just losing a player for an amount of time. Another piece of evidence that will be brought in is the fact that fighting in hockey is a tradition. By removing fights, you are essentially removing a part of the sport itself. I will also mention that athletes who go into the profession of hockey realize that fighting is tolerated, and are aware of the risks.

Not to mention it’s already a physical sport that involves a lot of risks. Back to fighting being a tradition of the NHL. Fighting has been tolerated for the NHL’s history of 94 years, but I must point out that it is penalized and regulated. So fight someone at the risk of your health, and the risk

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of your team winning the game. Another way to look at this is that fighting adds flare to the game. Kind of like how dunks in basketball adds flare.

Essentially fighting and dunking are there to make the game more entertaining for its fans/audience, which means that if it’s more entertaining maybe a higher fan base can be achieve. Which of course leads to more money. It’s all about the money! (www. hockeyhistory. org) So why did I choose this topic and why is it an important issue? Personally I have never played hockey (competitively), but I am an avid sports fan and have seen some NHL games on T. V. I was watching ESPN one day and there was a debate on this issue between a hockey analyst and a former player and found the topic very interesting.

This debate/topic is important because in the future if the rules of the game were to be changed, whether fighting stays or leaves, it could drastically change the sport itself, its fan base, and may even hurt the NHL greatly in an economic sense. Bibliography http://www. usatoday. com/sports/2004-09-02-pros-cons-fighting_x. htm http://sports. espn. go. com/nhl/columns/story? columnist=buccigross_john&id=2724254 http://www. nhl. com/ice/news. htm? id=413089 http://www. nhlfa. com/news/nr04_09_07. asp http://www. hockeyhistory. org/

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