For one of my bonus readings, I chose to read “Boca Juniors, River Plate, and the Allure of Violence in Sports.” This article was written by Brian Phillips who has written for many publications and even wrote a New York Times-best-selling book. The article focuses on the violence that took place between the Boca Juniors and River Plate right before a big match as rivals. The article also talks about what the line is between violence and sports and whether anyone can truly take that out of the game.
First, the article starts off by explaining what happened. Essentially what happened was the Boca team was driving a usual route in Buenos Aires, which happened to be near, according to the article a “well-known prematch gathering place for Rivers fans.” The article continues by talking about how the Boca bus was attacked by Rivers fans and ultimately led to many injuries and a few players in the hospital due to glass and other damage that happened during the attack. The players were still deemed able to play but this led to some questions about violence and its correlation in sports.
Second, this attack brought up the question of what does violence and sports mean? Some of the coaches and the league said that violence and football should not go together. The author disagrees. The article talks about how violence and sports will always play a part with each other. That violence is almost a root to sports fans when it comes to enjoying the sport. So, the author brings up the question of, can you have violence without sports? He believes the answer is no, that violence is an essential part of what makes sports, sports. However, he does argue that these sports fans may have taken it too far but still begs the question of what the line is and when does it get crossed when violence comes into play. Third, so what’s next for resolutions? The article mentions that the game had to be delayed for many weeks because of the tensions between the teams and their fans. They even brought up sending the game to somewhere else that is outside of the city to avoid the tensions. This could lead to hard core fans not being able to attend and a loss of publicity for these teams. The article goes on to talk about how removing people is not necessarily the answer and as the author puts it, “taking humans out of the equation is not really a lasting substitute for trying to understand human nature.” Overall, the article doesn’t offer solutions, only a temporary fix that they believe is safest for the team before they go into the game.