Keep It On the Field

A year ago the southern edge of the Mediterranean lit up with a rainbow of revolutions.  Tunisia, Libya and Egypt all rose up while even quiet countries like Morocco had to deal with protesters in the streets.  A year later, with real elections taking place across the region, it seemed like things might have finally settled down.  But after what happened in Egypt on Wednesday, maybe not so much.

Violence is a part of sports.  Even baseball, which tends more toward craft than collision, has its share of physical play.  I’m sure no one has quite forgotten the sickening crunch when Buster Posey went down last season.  Despite the uproar after the play, though, few people would deny that it was fair.  Unfortunate, yes, but fair.

The problem is that violence should stay on the field.  Athletes understand the inherent risks in what they do.  They’re also well compensated for it.  But ending up in a coma in the hospital after a game because you were wearing the wrong jersey?  That’s not a part of the game.  Ending up in a morgue in Cairo because you support the wrong team?  That’s not a part of the game.  What’s worse is that it looks like politics may have played a major part in the Cairo catastrophe and that should definitely not be a part of the game.

-A

1 Comment

Hard to believe that in 1967 there was a 48-hour ceasefire in the Nigerian Civil War to watch Pelé play. Now soccer fans kill each other at matches, and for what?

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