Recently just prior to commercial break on ESPN’s “Sports Center” the anchor person spoke over a clip of several NHL players going at one another on the ice. She told her audience: “Five fights going on at once? Now that’s must-see TV. Stay tuned.”
ESPN also likes to show clips from a program being run on another network that focuses attention on the pressures on little boys, ages 6 or 7, in an organized youth football league. It shows the coaches screaming at the boys and admonishing them to take out their opponent. “Use your helmet. Get him out of there.” It also shows the coaches verbally and physically abusing the boys and the boys politely responding with “yes, sir” or “no, sir.” The NFL has been critical of the show, though one of the talking heads on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” charged the NFL with being hypocritical, for promoting violence and ignoring the complex and costly issue of concussions among football players. But, seriously, doesn’t ESPN warrant much of the blame? They routinely highlight violence in sports. It draws the audience and sells the products that keep the show on the air.
I haven’t watched the aforementioned show about child abuse and don’t plan to. But many will. I imagine it will be a big hit (pardon the pun!).
And we wonder why this nation is prone to violence. Seriously?