Should dangerous sports be banned?
Save our Sports!
Today, many sports are becoming increasingly regulated. Boxing, rugby, soccer, and other games are being targeted by sports bodies and medical organizations in an effort to improve safety standards and to reduce injuries. However, for some people, this is not enough, and they would rather see some dangerous sports banned completely. In this essay, I will examine some arguments against banning dangerous sports.
Sports, competition, and games seem to be natural to humans. Young children learn their own limits and strengths through play with others, but they also learn valuable social lessons about what acceptable behavior and the rights of others. Sport therefore is not just a physical phenomenon, but a mental and social one.
Challenging sport provides a healthy, largely safe, physical outlet for aggression. There is very little evidence to show that people who take part in dangerous sports become violent as a result. In fact it is more likely that apart from the many friendships created in playing, sport acts as a safety valve for a society by reducing stress. Moreover, sport teaches and requires discipline, training, and respect for the rules - valuable lessons in any society.
Almost all sports involve some risk. Young rugby players are paralysed every year in scrums. Scuba-diving accidents can lead to brain damage or death. Even golf or jogging can lead to pain or injury. Without some elements of risk or challenge, sport becomes meaningless. A marathon runner trying to improve his time, basketball players fiercely battling an opposing team, or a sky-diving team defying gravity - all are trying to push themselves to their maximum. There is therefore no sport without danger.
There is also the issue of freedom. Without a wide range of sports, many people would feel trapped or limited. People should be free to participate in activities with others as long as it does not affect the safety of non-participants.
There also should be limits to the power of governments to ban sports. If one sport is banned because of alleged danger, then what sport would be next? Boxing is the most common target of opponents of dangerous sports. But if boxing is banned, would motor racing follow, then rugby, wrestling, or weightlifting? Furthermore, many sports would go underground, leading to increased injury and illegal gambling.
Nobody denies that regulation is needed. Medical bodies have introduced safety rules in boxing, in soccer, and these safety regulations have been welcomed by players. But the role of government should be reduced.
In conclusion, our society would be healthier if more people took part in sports of all kinds. We should continue to try to prevent accidents and injuries. However, we should also ensure that sports are challenging, exciting, and, above all, fun.