In sports, the competition promotes winners, and by the same tokens, losers. People love winners. Losers? Not so much. But that’s okay, because an important lesson whether winning or losing is the concept of fair play – to compete within the rules.
Participants play their guts out, but after the final whistle blew, they shake hands and respect the outcome from their efforts. Bonus point: sports channel our energy towards positive directions.
Yes, sports provide outlets for people to get their aggression, excess energy, and competitive spirit out in an structured way. All in the domain of civility. Even you are not a sports fan, the same prevails. Take game and work, the two common examples.
So what does sports have to do with violence? Glad you asked. Where things go awry is when the concept of the fair play is violated. When the rules are not enforced fairly, fights break out.
And that happens elsewhere as well: at the playground (think bully), traffic stop (bad policing), and other pubic gatherings (mass shooting). The tool of choice is not limited to fists or guns. Knifes, clubs, dogs, cars, or whatever is available.
Nobody says the world is fair, but we should strive for fair play or die trying.
What are other root causes of violence?