Saturday, September 05, 2009

More thoughts on LeGarrette Blount

I've been thinking about the whole LeGarrette Bliount post-game punch debacle, and I think I came to the wrong conclusion about Blount's suspension. I still agree he should not be allowed to play, but I was wrong to suggest that he should be completely kicked off the team and lose his scholarship. With access to teammates, coaches, support services and school, LeGarrette will have a better chance of turning things around. The coaches can keep an eye on him and help him come out of this situation in better shape. I honestly don't know how much the coaches are responsible for what happened (probably not much at all), but their responsibility to the player doesn't end here, and it really shouldn't. However, I don't think Blount should be allowed to travel with the team or be there during games. He will be a target for any opposing fan, much less our own fans.

I've read a lot of comments about the situation on the internet, and many people have disagreed with Blount being suspended the entire season. I think an entire season is the right thing to do. Where do you draw the line? Just because a line hasn't been drawn before doesn't mean it can't ever be drawn. If each player who did such a violent thing after or even during a game was kicked off the team, violent incidents would be less likely to happen.

This whole thing is really making me think about what I tolerate from sports. I'm a hockey fan, and punches are thrown in nearly every game along with much, much worse at times. And I'm advocating that a football player be kicked off a team for throwing one punch? Why should there be a difference between hockey and football? Maybe there shouldn't be. Maybe each hockey player who fights should be disallowed to play in his league. It may seem harsh, but if that punishment had been in place all along there would likely be no culture of fighting in hockey.

Another thing I've read is that "football is a violent sport! Deal with it!" Well, where do we draw the line? How violent is too violent? There's a huge difference between tackling and punching. Guys usually don't get injured if they're tackled. Where's the line? If someone dies, would that be too far, or would it just be "violent football"?

I realize sports are physical, but now I'm wondering just how much violence we should accept as part of the basic game(s). Wow, I really found something to blog about this weekend!

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