But What About the Children?

I first read about Derek Boogard's offseason hockey fighting camp was over at A View From the Cheap Seats. At the time, I didn't think very much of it, because it kind of makes sense when you think about it, as CapsChick pointed out. But then Eric from Off Wing Opinion wrote this entry over at the FanHouse, in which he says he felt "a sense of revulsion at a very basic level" after seeing this picture. To which my response is, of course, "Why?"

Eric admits, at the top of the entry, that "[i]t's not often that I find myself in the same corner as critics of fighting in the NHL." As a proponent of keeping the fighting in hockey, he asserts that it is a part of the sport. The question, then, is what is so bad about the image of two young kids going at it with boxing gloves if it is okay to expose them to images of two grown men pummeling each other in a bare-knuckle fight? I am generally not someone to ascribe violence in young people to the violence that they see on TV, but that is because I generally have enough respect for most children to assume that they can tell the difference between the fictional violence they see on the screen and what is acceptable in real life. The fighting in hockey is undeniably real (just ask Todd Fedoruk) and, if you ask most hockey fans, it is not only acceptable, but encouraged. So why not let the kids join in? Especially, in this case, if it's going to be a dumbed down version of a real hockey fight where the players are wearing boxing gloves and have a NHL player twice their size close at hand to intervene if anything gets out of hand.

I agree with Eric, in that I, too, was rather disturbed by the picture. Unfortunately, as long as the NHL continues to embrace the sideshow fights as a "part of the sport", situations like Boogard's camp are the sorts of things that are a completely logical offshoot.


Caps Nut said...

Amen brother. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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