I was eight years old when I went to Madison Square garden to attend my first Hockey game, where the Pittsburg Penguins came into New York to take on the Rangers. As I entered the arena I saw that the fans were ecstatic for the game to begin. The game began like any typical hockey game, vicious hitting and a tremendous amount of intensity. As the game went on I noticed that the same two players on opposing teams were constantly going after one another. Soon after this one of these players hit the other illegally from behind and I could not believe what I saw next. These two massive men began brawling in the middle of the ice and nobody did anything to stop it. They were wailing on each other for a sold five to ten seconds before one of them fell and the referee came to break it up. After the fight ended both the Ranger Bench and the entire stadium was in a state of euphoria. Everyone was out of his or her seats cheering at the top of their lungs and the entire atmosphere of the stadium had been lifted. At that moment I was too young to understand why everyone was so happy, but now since I am older and well educated it makes complete sense to me. Fighting in hockey games raises the moral of not only the players themselves but also the fans in the arena. It gets them fired up and the adrenaline going. There are many people who want to ban fighting completely in the National Hockey League. Despite this fact, fights in hockey break out so often and change the overall intensity of the game so much that it has become tradition and a part of the game of hockey itself.
Although fights in hockey can do so much good for a team, people are still being hurt in the process. Sometimes the injuries sustained by players involved in fights are minor, while other times players sustain career ending injuries that potentially cause life long harm. According to Martin Hollis’ philosophy, people who commit morally wrong acts in order to serve greater purposes “dirty their hands.” Therefore professional hockey players who enter into fights in order to raise the moral of their teams or intimidate other teams inadvertently dirty their hands.
Hockey fights can drastically change the pace of the game and can give a team a desired spark that could help them win. Additionally, this spark is helped ignited by the clamorous fans. Since hockey fights get the fans intensity to shoot through the roof it gets the home team even more fired up. As the great Philosopher Niccole Machiavelli once stated, “ the ends justify the means.” This means that you can use bad or immoral methods as long as you accomplish something good by using them. Machiavelli believed that the morality of an action is based solely on the outcome of the action and not on the action itself. This philosophy most certainly applies to hockey fights. Beating someone’s face in order to help your team win a game is by no means morally right. However, if this actually does help a team achieve the ultimate goal of winning the game then it is completely justifiable according to Machiavelli’s theory.
– Greatest Hockey fights of all time
Although fighting in hockey can inspire a team mentally, it has another negative aspect to it in addition to injuries caused by the fighting. Hockey players who enter into fights on the ice get five-minute major penalties for it. This means that the game goes from five on five to four on four. Many people argue that this can drastically hurt a team since one team may lose a much more valuable player than the other team. This is why it is so crucial that certain people fight while others do not. As a result of this, hockey teams usually have one player who is known as the “enforcer.” The enforcer for a team is not typically one of the most skilled players, but is very strong, intimidating, and can fight. This player is a complete brute and has a main purpose of starting fights to intimidate the other team and ignite his team and the crowd. If Machiavelli were alive today he would most likely support the idea of an enforcer on the ice because it helps a team accomplish their main goal of winning the game.
So I ask you, should fighting in hockey continue to be a praised tradition or should the National Hockey league ban it?