Sociology: Ban Fighting in Hockey? Essay

The article, Ban Fighting in Hockey discusses the dangers of fighting in the game of hockey. Author Charlie Gillis is arguing the fact that the old saying says, “Hockey needs fighting” should be reconsidered. This journal coming out shortly after the death of rookie senior hockey player, Donald Sanderson, caused the uproar against violence from Gillis. His argument was up against great odds, because when Colin Campbell (who is the director of hockey operations) brought the topic of harsher punishments up, only two General Managers supported the idea.

Gillis feels that fighting within hockey was part of the game right from the beginning.

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Stories say that the very first indoor hockey game ended in a fisticuff. Now it’s different. Now the players are bigger, stronger, and are paid to protect. He feels that it is wrong that the punishments are so small compared to every other sport. In the NHL, you only get a five minute penalty, whereas say in the MLB or NBA fights are rarely seen due to the game suspensions.

This puts the overseers of the NHL responsible for the construction in Gillis’ opinion. They are the ones who have the power to make changes to the rules but wont due nothing about it because they want their jobs to remain secure.

It is due to the life threatening injuries and the deaths that the issue was brought to the front pages. Time and time again, injuries are caused by these senseless acts to “blow off steam” or “fire the team up”, when really they are doing more damage then perceived. Charlie feels that to resolve the problem would not be difficult at all, that as soon as game ejections followed by hefty fines were introduced, it would diminish them to very few and almost “make them ridiculous”. So in sociological terms, the construction is morally wrong and needs to be reconstructed, in the eyes of author Charlie Gillis.

The article started right off with words from the father about his twenty-one year old deceased son due to a hockey fight gone bad. Initially from a sociological view you immediately see that the author is using a young athlete, with so much life left in him to catch the attention he is fore seeking. He is wanting people to feel empathetic towards his story and try to pick up as many followers that he can to take over the current constructionists. Another strategy used is cutting down someone whose say is much greater than his in order to be heard.

Gillis straight out calls Don Cherry a liar, backing himself up by quoting him from coaches corner. Overall I thought that the article was fairly well wrote when it came to attacking the current construction. By reading the article, you can see that there was no lack of research. Gillis interviewed many, even university professors to get exact statistics on his topic. One of the oldest tricks in the book was used right away. Using young people as moral righteousness. Another great thing he did was use direct quotes of opposing figures of authority that uncovered the preposterous part of their argument.

In other words he was revealing the darkness within the current construction while breaking it down one step at a time. What I did not like was the fact that only one example was used. If Gillis would have went further back to the many different deaths or the severe, career ending injuries (like on Steve Moore). The more examples used or would have strengthened his argument so much more. The way this article was wrote made it very easy to understand both sides of the argument, and not just the one Gillis was fighting for, while at the same time it was very clear to tell which side he was fighting for.

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