Violence in Sports: Violence in Sports Is it just players who have a problem? Slide 2: Sport violence and community violence is predominantly a male problem. Worldwide, violent offenders are predominantly male. Despite figures attached to crimes against women by men in NZ, the overwhelming numbers of victims of reported violence are men. This means that violence towards males by males, is a distinguishing behaviour. Slide 3: This pattern is very noticeable in sport where evidence of violence is nearly exclusively male dominated. Media coverage of sports events means that more people have access to sports spectatorship and participation. This means that the problem of violence in sport may grow. Slide 5: Research points to two conclusions: Violent response to conflict and confrontation is a feature of NZ society. There is a willingness of the NZ male to accept and legitimise violence as a means of gaining respect and approval from others. This is backed by media coverage and approval is based on the perceived toughness of the game. The suggestion is that participating and receiving of violent actions is “part of the game”. What about the coach?: What about the coach? The coach is the leader and teacher. They are extremely influential on attitudes and behaviours of players on and off the “field”. What they consider acceptable in training and competition will be reproduced by the athletes – not only in the game. Would you condone an athlete committing a crime on or off the “field”? Slide 8: Violence is a crime! When coaches fail to react to player violence in a way that deters it from happening again it is by default, condoning violence. What about spectators?: What about spectators? Media reports of violent behaviour at sporting events have led many people to believe that spectator violence is quite common and very serious. When spectators engage in violence their behaviour is related to 3 sets of factors: 1 The action in the sport Crowd dynamics and the situation in which the event is watched Historical, social, economic and political context in which the event is planned and played Slide 10: Research indicates that spectator violence is related to the actions of players during an event. Perceptions of spectators are influenced by the ways events are promoted. What about the media?: What about the media? It is common for TV directors to focus on the conflict of either past or present, in the lead up to and presentation of the game. By focusing on the violence the media is not only legitimising violence but also contributing to the expectation of violence. This means that viewers see violence as “OK” because “it’s sport”. Is violence in sport only limited to men?: Is violence in sport only limited to men? Even though research states violence is predominantly a male problem – this is not to say females are not violent. Although many women are tough competitors they are less likely to incorporate violence into their games, as men. What do you think?: What do you think? Is it the players fault? Is it the coaches fault? Is it the spectators fault? Is it the media’s fault? Are we better off using information available from all area’s, to reduce and eliminate violence from sports or should we just “harden up” and “stop being a pussy” and get on with the game!? Final thoughts.... : Final thoughts.... Presentation by Michelle Dempsey: Presentation by Michelle Dempsey For EDPROFST 344 – Sport, Games and Play, 2010. References available by request.