NFL player Myles Garret who plays defense for the Cleveland Browns lost his cool in a physical fight against Mason Rudolph, quarterback for Pittsburgh Steelers. As a typical fight in the NFL escalated, Garret crossed the line by taking off the helmet of Rudolph, using it as a weapon in attempt to bash the player in the head. Though not fully succeeding in his fury fueled action, the actions will have definite consequences on his ability to continue playing football.
Though Garrett soon realized the depths of his actions and appeals in hopes of reducing the possible sentences facing him, he was still stuck with a suspension along with an undisclosed amount and Browns were levied US$250,000$ in penalties.
That negative attention that this situation received can be used to show that fighting in the NFL and the use of a helmet to harm another player is treated much differently than a violent encounter in other sports such as in the NHL. Such an action in hockey would not be as frowned upon as it is in football. A reason for this could be that the NFL is known for its damage to the brain by concussions through unintentional contact and having such an action intentionally inflicted upon a player is considered disrespectful to the sport.
Even though violence in the NFL is not tolerated by officials, it is something that cannot be fully taken out of the game due to the excitement and entertainment for the fans who enjoy the sport. Even if it did come to taking away the promise of a large source of income, violence is simply a part of the culture of football and will not be completely taken out. As stated by Coakley and Donnelly (2009) “Football players and athletes in other heavy-contact sports engaged in violence on the field long before television coverage and the promise of big salaries.”
Citation: Coakley, J. and Donnelly, P. (2009). Issues and Controversies Sports in Society. Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.