Hockey Violence: Fighting

The amount of information on the Internet about fighting in hockey reflects the interest level in the topic. On December 21, 2021, the USA TODAY  webpage titled “NHL fights from the 2021-22 season” contains 89 photos through December 19, 2021. 

Even more information about each fight can be found on the Hockey Fights website. The homepage has a table listing 114 “total fights” under the heading “2022 NHL Fight Stats,” which is for the 2021-2022 season, and a section “Featured Fights.”

On December 22, the featured fight was between Nathan Beaulieu and Dakota Joshua. 

Clicking the fight’s photo takes you to a page that shows whom site members voted the fight’s winner. Bealieu got 89.7%, Joshua 10.3%. No one voted it a draw

In the Voting Results table, by clicking either fighter’s name you get a listing of that fighter’s “latest fights.” For Beaulieu the list contains 10 fights, the earliest in 2018. Also on that page is his “Year By Year Fight Totals,” the teams he fought for and against, and the players with whom he fought.

Despite the interest in fighting in hockey, discourse over whether the sport is better off without it continues.

Should fighting be banned?

This issue is raised on procon.org. Each side’s argument presents three reasons. Here are the reasons given for allowing fighting in hockey:

  1. “Allowing fighting makes the sport safer overall by holding players accountable.
  2. Fighting draws fans and increases the game’s entertainment value.
  3. Fighting is a hockey tradition that exists in the official rules and as an unwritten code among players.”

Which side presents the stronger argument?

Which position do you support? Why?

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