Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fire Don Cherry, Ban Bare Knuckle Fighting

With Spain considering a ban on bullfighting, is it time for Canada and the USA to ban ice hockey? (Because the NHL covers both countries)

Don Cherry had an outburst against people who are against fighting in hockey. This got me thinking. There is a movement in Canada that seems to be starting, to investigate the damage caused by fighting in hockey. Don Cherry, the commentator on CBC hockey games is one of the most unabashed promoters of fighting in hockey and he was visibly upset with the attitudes of some of the ex-players who had said something about fighting. Don Cherry called them "pukes and turncoats", as apparently these guys had been fighters themselves during their NHL careers.

Here is the situation. Bare knuckled boxing is against the law in Canada and the USA. But there is a demand for this type of brutality. Professional ice hockey has somehow developed a symbiotic relationship with bare knuckled fighting. We actually have two sports parasitically living on each other. Bare knuckled fighting uses "National Hockey League" ice hockey to gain legitimacy, as the fights take place during hockey games. Hockey uses bare knuckled fighting to attract "fans", and to make more money.

No other professional sport does this. This is what I believe. In the National Hockey League version of ice hockey, a certain number of players are recruited by each team to do the fighting. The coaches send the fighters out when they are ready for a session of bare knuckled boxing, and the hockey game is temporarily suspended while the fight is going on. These are not spontaneous fights between hockey players. These are planned fights between athletes hired for their fighting abilities (most of the time - occasionally some other player will be attacked.)

They say that "fighting is part of the game". It is not. I have seen plenty of games with no fights (e.g Olympic hockey). It's time for NHL hockey to ban fighting, it is a very easy thing to do. Just don't hire fighters, and give stiff penalties for fighting. And of course, fire Don Cherry, that loudmouth ignorant embarrassment. (I Googled "fire don cherry" and got 28,000 hits.) Hire a commentator who knows hockey. Let's get back to the sport of hockey, which is not a bad game without the fight fans screaming for blood.

Picture: I got it off this website. There is a video also, which I did not look at, but I assume proves my point, that the fights are a separate sport from hockey, and should be as illegal as bare knuckled boxing.


  1. The NHL is market-driven. The current average NHL salary runs about $2 million, with superstars earning eight-digit figures.

    If the owners believe that attendance (and viewing audiences) will drop off as a function of decrease in violence, Brendan Shanahan will be muzzled.

  2. "CBC Story on Shanahan"

    On the page above, I found a quote "Hockey without fighting is just figure skating with hockey sticks" in a comment by "odorlesslemur" (seemingly a fight fan). Exactly my point. The fight fans do not really understand the slightest thing about hockey. But recently, the extremely violent "World Fight Championship" came to Canada, which is a better alternative for the fight fans than the NHL. I'm sure they don't really like having to sit through 60 minutes or more of "figure skating with hockey sticks" for just one short fight. If most of the fight fans abandon "hockey" for the WFC, then the NHL can gradually get back to playing pure hockey, and both the fight fans and the hockey fans win.

  3. Is it really against the law in Canada and the US?

    Could you provide me with a link to evidence of this?

    I was wondering whether or not this is true, and have come up with some evidence to the contrary in some states...

    I'd love to get some clarifiation on this.

  4. and to be clear, I'm not referring to getting in a fight in public, but rather in a "league"-type setting.

    If it's legal, lets start a bare-knuckle boxing league and see what people say, and how the government reacts.

    I have a feeling people would be less than understanding, and I don't really see how it's so different than much of the fighting that occurs in hockey.

  5. That's an interesting question, the law as written does not actually prohibit bare knuckled boxing as a sport. The law prohibits fighting in general, and exceptions to the law are made to allow organized, recognized sports to take place without police intervention. (such as Wrestling, Boxing with gloves, the WFC, not to mention fights that also occur in basketball, baseball, hockey etc. that are allowed to be covered by the rules and penalties of that sport)

    The prohibition of boxing in England followed this legal case in 1882, which declared that bare knuckled fighting was assault, whether or not the fight was an organized sport with the consent of the participants.

    Wikipedia, Prohibition of Boxing

    The USA passed laws specifically allowing organized boxing as a sport in about 1920.

    "The Queensbury Rules ended the prizefighting heyday and transitioned the United States into the Golden Era of boxing. By 1920, legislation was introduced that allowed public boxing matches and fighters such as Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey, and Joe Louis became sports icons."

    Fighting Trends

    August 5, 2011 Bobby Gunn fought Richard Stewart in the first sanctioned bareknuckle boxing match since 1889 at the Fort McDowell Casino, just outside Scottsdale, Ariz., in a Yavapai reservation under Yavapai law, not under U.S. or state law.

    "The bare-knuckle match, along with some boxing and MMA fights that will round out the card, will be overseen by the Yavapai Nation, not the Arizona State Boxing Commission."