What am I missing?
Everyone loves a good hockey fight. It doesn't matter if your a hockey aficionado or a puck and stick virgin, when people start beating on each other, America stops and watches. MMA fights, middle school recess scuffles, Jerry Springer love triangles, you name it, if it's got faces gets kicked in we eat it up dig it and we dig it hard.
I mean say what you want about hockey, this is just fun to watch.
Announcers love it, fans love it, toothless Canadian players love it.
And who doesn't love a good baseball beat down? Hard slide, hit by a pitch, boredom, baseball fights have a lot of causes and go a long way to spicing up rivalry games and a brutally long season.
Yes, fights are seemingly all good in sports. That is, unless it's the NBA.
Remeber the Nuggets-Knicks fight? Suspensions for everyone and condemnation by all.
And it wasn't even a fight so much as it was a slap and tickle
The announcers didn't seem to dig it very much.
Then there was the WNBA brawl from last season.
Now, maybe the NBA is trying to keep a clean image after the Artest situation
You never want your players fighting your fans. Any league would suspend their players until the cows come home right? No league would let player-fan fights slide...
Do any of you even remeber this happening? I sure don't. Tie Domi wasn't publicly crucified that's for sure. Why is that?
Fan abuse is, I guess, cool in the almost all white NHL, but demonized in the primarily black NBA.
What I'm driving at is brawling is celebrated in most baseball and especially hockey. Prolific fighters are given names like "enforcer". In the NBA, if one punch is thrown, the player becomes a "thug" in the eyes of the sporting world. Carmelo? A thug? Did you see the fight? Go with your guy instinct on this next question. Do you think Artest is a thug? If so, why? Because he punched a fan who dumped beer on him? Wouldn't you do the same if someone did that to you?
Sports brawls are fun, but they stop being fun when you demonize players because of their race. The NBA wouldn't suspend players like 'Melo for 15 games (the sixth longest in NBA history) over a slap if they didn't think they had to for PR reasons. Why would the NBA have a bad image that needed protecting? Could it be that it's considered a league full of gang bangers by the weak minded and dim witted that make up a scarily heavy portion of the American population?
Maybe it's just me, but the double standard in public perception of sports brawls reaks of racism.