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Sport Will Beat Itself

Hypocrisy and violence in the sporting world.

by Eric Page
May 13, 2001

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Sport Will Beat Itself_Eric Page-Hypocrisy and violence in the sporting world. I couldn’t help but be perturbed by the recent letter of apology that Jesse Ventura sent to George Steinbrenner regarding the behavior of Minnesota Twins fans at a recent game. For those who don’t know, some young Twins fans threw hot dogs and golf balls at their former star player who is now a member of the rival team. In the letter Ventura states: “...in this case a few fans went too far. We have a reputation in Minnesota for having knowledgeable sports fans, and when they go to games, they should know where to draw the line.”

Should they know? How can we expect them to know? Sure, Jesse, you’re intelligent enough to know that baseball is different from the XFL and the WWF, but can you honestly blame the average Jerry Springer-watching American teen for getting confused, especially living in a state where a professional wrestler/XFL Spokesperson is their chosen leader? Isn’t it a little ironic that Jesse Ventura, of all people, would act so shocked at the barbaric actions of Minnesota youth? A man that has made millions of dollars from two companies that celebrate this type of behavior. Two organizations that promote a person to act off of their innate urges and settle all matters through violence rather than through reason. Two leagues that have helped contribute to the moral decline of society. Oh but I guess we’re supposed to expect the youth of Minnesota to be able to distinguish the difference between leagues. That one can act like an annoying buffoon at one event but must mind his manners at another. All this from a generation that has been raised by constant images of immoral heroes basking in the glory of success.

Oh and now we’re all supposed to bow down and apologize to Chuck Knoblach, a player that reaches fame from a team forced to hold on to some ideals of the game, only to accept the bait of the villain and use his heightened abilities against the very people that taught him? Who could really blame the youth of Minnesota for doing what they did? To retaliate on the villain in a manner in which they were raised, with a method that their mighty leader had taught.

This hypocrisy doesn’t just appear in sports, but also in the world of music. Remember when we had to sit and watch the VJs of MTV express shock over the disaster of the last Woodstock. For those who don’t remember, anarchy ensued when the band Korn hit the stage. A band that although probably has deep underlying positive messages projects violent connotations to the majority of intellectually-challenged teens. MTV VJs cried things like, how could young people do this? Do they have no sense of right and wrong? This of course coming from the network that has made millions promoting these attitudes -- a company that has spent the last 20 years sculpting the young minds of America, promoting a way of lifestyle that, at times, is anywhere near civilized. Oh, but we’re supposed to expect the average moronic teenager to see through the obvious images of decadence and pick out the underlying subtext: the hidden message that this behavior can have consequences and should never actually be acted out. This we expect from the same teenagers that see a professional wrestler rise to fame and become the elected leader of the community.

I’m not saying that the above-mentioned people and companies should be censored. I’m not taking the typical old lady stance that these naughty boys should never be let out to the general public. After all this is a free country and we all have the right to make a living any way we chose. I’m just saying that people and companies that have chosen to make a living by glorifying negativity and barbaric behavior should fess up and stop acting oblivious and apologetic. Instead of Jesse Ventura sending a letter of bewildered apology to Steinbrenner, he should stand before his flock of morons and say: “My children! I have taught you well!” All the while basking in the filth that he helped create.

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