Ah, my favorite time of year is upon us. And while the air is not yet crisp or the leaves falling in Arizona, I still feel the tingling as I always do. It’s football season! And I can quote a character from my favorite book series about this time of year “I’d rather be the stomach on the couch than the eye in the sky!”
NFL preseason is going strong. The Arena League is having their 27th Arena Bowl championship. College football will be starting on the 30th in Ernest. Ah, it’s great to be a couch potato! But you now ask what does football have to do with WPV?
Well, it’s not just football, but also hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, and NASCAR. And if you want to go further, then it’s even occurred in figure skating! What am I talking about? How does WPV occur in sports that are inherently violent? And figure skating? Yes, even figure skating.
Football, hockey, and other such physical sports are inherently violent. But when the players or individuals step out of the sport for extra curricula violence (read ‘Unsportsmanlike conduct’) then it’s WPV. Here are a few examples of what I mean;
- The Nancy Kerrigan ‘kneeing’ by Tonya Harding
- The biting off of Evander Holyfield’s ear by Mike Tyson
- Toney Stewart killing a fellow driver (accidental or not stupidity or not)
- An MMA fighter brutally beating his girlfriend because he lost a match
- Sliding into base with spikes exposed to the 2nd baseman or shortstop
- The breaking of a nose, on purpose during a soccer match
- The ejection of a player for ‘unnecessary roughness’ during a high intensity football game
- The breaking of a players leg during the playoffs in the NHL
- Punches thrown during a basketball game or choking your coach i.e. Letrell Spreewell
Do I really need to keep going? As the football season starts off, baseball season ending, and hockey beginning we’ll see our share of WPV incidents. It is certain that it won’t be called that by the broadcasters, mainly because, I don’t believe, it’s never been addressed this way before.
But, just like violence within police responses, hospital staff being assaulted, and security officers being verbally assaulted on a regular basis, there’s not a whole lot can be done. Ejections and fines will only hurt so much to any of these people. And in some cases, what hurts more is the ruins of their careers and money making abilities doing what they love i.e. Mike Tyson & Tonya Harding.
The only thing that we as spectators can do is try to prevail upon the owners, coaches, & players themselves to embarrass and humiliate their teammates, in a way not to expose them to liability. But as long as the green is there that won’t happen. And these athletes will go on like nothing has ever happened and they’re innocent and everyone is against them. Too bad for us and them.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.
The quote in the first paragraph comes from Al Giordino a character from Clive Cussler’s series about NUMA, the National Underwater Marine Agency and its main hero, Dirk Pitt.