Men Behaving Badly

DH plays in a recreational soccer league for men over 25 (though the average age is probably closer to 35 or 40). You would think by that age that people would be calm and laid-back enough to have a fun and friendly game.

You’d be wrong.

A few days ago, during the game before DH’s, a bench-clearing brawl broke out. Can you even?

Apparently, a player kicked the ball and it came pretty close to another player’s head. The second player thought the guy did it on purpose, so he shoved the guy. The guy shoved him back. Now, usually that’s where it ends. The guys would get sent off and play would continue. But, I guess a third guy was up for a fight, because he came running from half-way across the court and shoved one of the players too.

Of course, this escalated things, so punches were thrown and at one point there were 4-5 guys kicking a player who was lying on the floor.

Isn’t that absolutely appalling? I mean, seriously…this is a middle-age men’s recreational soccer league. A lot of the time there are families there watching. How in the world does this kind of thing even happen?

I’m slightly worried that DH will continue to play in this league in the summer. Yes, the league won’t be letting those players back in, but this isn’t the only altercation he’s witnessed. There’s constantly 1-2 total jerks on each team who seem like they’re looking for a fight. A lot of players – be it from having a lack of ability or from just been aggressive in nature – are overly physical and go after the guy rather than the ball. One guy, who was a goalie, got his hand broken and wasn’t able to work for weeks because some other guy took a run at him while he was grabbing the ball.

It doesn’t help that the refs in the league don’t seem to call many fouls, which means players start getting frustrated and will take more of an aggressive slant to their playing (because if the other guy/team can get away with it, then they should too). But, I still don’t think that should excuse this type of disgusting behavior.

Yes, there are times where it’s appropriate to be competitive, there’s nothing wrong with that. But when it escalates to crap like this, especially when it’s supposed to be “just for fun” and a way to get some exercise, it makes me embarrassed for the human race.

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Comments on: "Men Behaving Badly" (4)

  1. Don't adults usually go to jail when they do something like that?

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  2. Sadly I think that sports has just given some people a sense of “permission” to vent — if the “paid professionals” can do it, why no joe schmo. Like you say, if the refs and the league don't crack down on this kind of behavior then it will escalate and someone will get seriously injured — hope your DH wear protection!

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  3. Somehow since I watched a few rugby games in NZ, I abhor soccer exactly because of this kind of behaviour. I was very surprised that rugby, which seems such an aggresive sport, is soooo much more behaved, both players and fans. I think the difference is with the refs and the system of (in official games) using videos to see if a foul was a foul or a ball was in or out.
    so my advice for DH would be to play rugby instead until they finally changed the rules for soccer to make it a more fair game, use modern technology and punish those aggresive guys.

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  4. nicoleandmaggie – I would think so? I haven't heard of anyone being arrested, but one guy did end up in the hospital 😦

    Wool free – yes, for some reason it's completely allowed to assault someone while playing a sport. Yuck :S

    Nina – Rugby for DH isn't an option. Apparently a few guys have decided to leave the league though – and rightly so.

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