National Columnist

Grow up, hockey -- stop fighting

Fighting has always been a big part of the NHL's culture. (USATSI)
Fighting has always been a big part of the NHL's culture. (USATSI)

Fighting isn't OK in hockey. You know a sport where fighting is OK? Fighting is OK in fighting. Like boxing or MMA. Karate competitions. Taekwondo. That's where fighters can go to fight.

A hockey rink?

Not sure what's worse, when children fight like in this video from a Midget "A" game in Ontario, or when adults fight in the NHL. Both are pathetic, though for different reasons.

With teenagers, like the felonious bully who goes off on some poor kid in that video, it's pathetic that they are so gullible, so susceptible to the ways of their idols, that they copy those self-destructive ways. High school baseball players take steroids because the pros do it. High school football defenders deliver head shots because NFL players do it.

High school hockey players fight because NHL players do it.

Pathetic, kids. Think for yourselves. And grow up.

But you first, adults. You in the NHL, and in all the other professional leagues where fighting is allowed, even encouraged by the makeup of the roster. Show me a hockey team with an enforcer on its roster, a player who lacks the skill to compete but earns his keep by "protecting" his best teammates, and I'll show you a coach and a general manager who not only condone fighting but encourage it.

Fighting in hockey sucks when it's adults throwing punches. It's embarrassing. Work out your insecurities somewhere else, you talentless goons.

But when it's teenagers? Like in that video? It's appalling. It hurts your heart to see what happens to this kid. Imagine being that boy. Imagine being his mother or father.

And it makes you angry -- well, it makes me angry -- to know the kids are just doing what they see their idols are doing. And to know that fans think fighting in hockey is OK, on any level, because that's the way it's always been done.

Most intellectually lazy, stupidly circular excuse ever:

Hockey players fight because hockey players ... fight.

Not for long, I hope. Be a leader, NHL, and stop this garbage at your level. That would stop it at almost every other level as well. Maybe then hockey players would play hockey because hockey players play ... hockey.


Gregg Doyel is a columnist for CBSSports.com. He covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer, the Marlins for the Miami Herald, and Brooksville (Fla.) Hernando for the Tampa Tribune. More importantly, he is 4-0 as an amateur boxer, with three knockouts. Follow Gregg Doyel on Twitter.
 
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