We have often heard that Sports brings people together. No matter the difference in opinions, political beliefs, ethnicities, religion or sexual identity, people conjoin and consolidate when it comes to sports. They find common ground and a shared interest.
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We have seen many instances of this at our very own facility. We air sports games live during the week and get crowds of more than 400. There is a great atmosphere where strangers talk to each other about how they came to support a particular team. Often you reinstate your faith in humanity by just witnessing such things.
Much of it stems from human psychology. We are naturally attracted to people who share our own beliefs and interests. When two people see each other wearing the same sports club jersey, they feel a sense of togetherness. It is kind of like a universal language.
And yet, sports can sow the seed of discord as well. While it is not visible in the United States, fights and rioting are part and parcel of sports in a few cases in Europe and Latin America, especially when it comes to soccer. In particular, the fan culture in countries like Russia, Argentina and Serbia is known to be chaotic. There have been many recorded cases of violence.
There is a famous case in Manchester, England, where a played was once fined GBP 50,000 and convicted of assault when a fan came marauding from the stands, hurling racial abuse at the player. The player in this case was famous French soccer player Eric Cantona. He lashed out at the fan with his feet in retaliation, causing a minor injury.
Fans also tend to take it too much when it comes to betting. The exhilaration of winning big and the frustration and anger at losing your money is what makes sports betting a controversial debate. Despite the legalization in Delaware and other states, there remains an open-ended concern. US sports fans are more into betting and sports books then they being fond of violence during sports events.
Although a certain amount of bickering between fans does add some color to sports culture, we have to be wary of taking it too far. At the end of the day, it is important to note that sports is just a form of entertainment. It doesn’t have to consume us emotionally.