With all this stuff going on in the NFL with violence on and off the field I wonder how it comes across to kids and their dads.
Commentators and pundits alike talk about how football is a violent sport. And some go so far as to say that treating your kid violently once in a while is good for him. Sean Hannity of FOX praised his own dad for beating him with his belt and punching Sean in the face. Hannity explained that he deserved that sort of treatment, and it has made him a better person.
When men hear such things, what are they to think?! Well let me talk about violence. Some of you know that my academic work was in Philosophy, and the work of philosophy is to pursue wisdom. So let’s pursue some wisdom here.
Violence is any thought or action that violates the rights of another. Violence has no place in the life of a good person. There is no case when a person has the right to violate another. It is that simple. Now you say, what happens if someone comes after me, and I crack him on his head to protect myself or others? What about war? The violence in each of those situations is at the hands of the aggressor.
The guy who comes after you on the street is violating your rights, and you have the right to protect yourself with force equal to the challenge. Same thing in war. If an aggressor goes to battle to take away the rights of others, those attacked have a right to fight back. The aggressor is violent not the victim, even if the victim hurts the aggressor in defending himself.
So what does that have to do with football and other sports? Well since it is unworthy of any human being to violate another, football should be rough but not violent. In other words, defense players need to prevent the offense players from scoring, and they can be rough doing it but never violent.
Players should not be applauded for injuring other players. Sure, get them out of the play but don’t send them to the hospital. When the play is over, players should show sportsmanship with the other team. After all it is a game, and games should not lead to a lifetime of injury and death. When games do that, then the barbaric nature of man is taking over, and civilization is in the balance.
My Dad loved to play football. He made a name for himself in high school, and that name was Gunboat. Years after high school, his buddies still called him Gunny. My dad took everything he did seriously, so he played football to win. But when it came to telling me and my friends how to play, Dad said that you never want to hurt anybody. Hit them low and hard, play by the rules, be in great shape, and love the game.
And Dad rooted for his favorites, Notre Dame and the Chicago Bears, but as long as they played their best, he considered them winners in life—because they played the game.
So my fellow dads, let’s unite to stop the praise of violence. Let’s get back to the business of life showing respect for all─even on the football field─ just like Gunboat did so many years ago. And never, ever be violent to a child.
Be a leader─ just like Gunboat was for me and my friends.