This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The end of bloodsports

My interest in history has often made me wonder about people's fascination with bloodsports. And by that I mean any sport that is designed to display brutal behavior, either between humans, or animals. A sport whereby damage inflicted is not incidental, it's the point.

Gladiators fighting to the death springs to mind. And dogs fighting bears, and cockfights. The list, unfortunately, goes on and on. And the popularity of these bloodsports was always just taken for granted, as entertainment. And the contestants, if they walked away, did so terribly brutalized, most often injured for life.

In my lifetime, I've known many psychopathically cruel people. People who pull the wings off of flies, people who tie cans to the tails of dogs, people who beat up other people. And there doesn't seem to be a lack of these types of people, whom society grooms and encourages for modern bloodsports. And while they are on the field, the audience cheers. Their behavior off of the field, getting in fights, or hitting their girlfriends, seems to surprise most people.

Any game (and yes, I'm talking about football here) whose main point is to make children run into each other, over and over again in the most brutal way possible, is a bloodsport. And to my surprise, people have accepted this as long as I can remember.

But I've seen things begin to change recently. Yesterday I saw a news report that listed the number of high school kids who have died recently as a direct result of being encouraged to hurtle themselves, headfirst, into other kids. And the coach described the activities as *routine* hits. And there is no mention of children who are permanently injured, both physically and psychologically, by this brutality.

There is nothing routine about teaching our children to participate in bloodsports. And by children, I am including men in college, and in the NFL. If someone had offered me a lot of money when I was 25, would I have been mature enough to say no?

Bloodsports, like wars, are started by old men and fought by young men. And young men have so many other things to do, other than brutalizing each other for the entertainment of the masses. They can participate in so many other sports, where collisions are accidents, not the point of the game. They can raise families, and teach them to love, not to hate. They can get busy building a better world, especially a world without bloodsports.
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