Violence Among Our Young People

In Creating Happiness, Domestic Abuse News by Barbara Jacoby

I don’t know how many of you may have seen the incident following the Boise St. / Oregon college football game last evening (see video below) but I can’t tell you how shocked and saddened I felt.  Oregon player LeGarrette Blount punched a member of the Boise St. team at the end of the game.  It was horrific to see but it was his continuing actions that really scared me.  Immediately following the incident, other of his team members and coaches and even several policemen tried to get him under control but he hit them also and threw them off of him like they were rag dolls.  He was completely out of control and his actions and demeanor were those that I recognized as the same as those of my own abuser.

This young man, who is a college senior, has been suspended from the team for the rest of the season.  For the incident to play out on national television is something that everyone is talking about today but the sad part is that I believe that very few people even think about the fact that this young man is in serious need of help.  It may be very interesting to see how professional organizations may look at him because they may see that incident as being something like a true fighting spirit that would be an asset on the field.  After all, if you look at what is happening in the pros, the violence continues to increase there as well.

I recently heard the results of a survey done among high school students wherein a full 50% of them admitted that they were either in an abusive relationship or knew another young person who was.  This survey didn’t even include abuse that they may have suffered or seen in their own homes.  And I am pretty sure that every one of the students surveyed was not completely forthcoming with the full truth.  If this is the experiences of so many of our young people, why should every one be so surprised when an incident like the one witnessed last night is finally viewed.

I am the first person to tell you that I really, really love to watch college football.  I love to see a good “game” and that is what we should be seeing on the field.  However, football games have become such a commercial enterprise that younger and younger children are being taught that they must be willing to win at any cost if they are going to succeed at the next level.  And this “tough” competitive mentality is destroying our young men and women.  They are being taught that they are expected to win at any cost and that it doesn’t matter what you do or say to the opponents as long as you don’t get caught.  For them, the game of football is no longer a sport but rather a means to get ahead on the field, in their work and in their homes.  They are being taught that the end justifies the means and if they don’t want to measure up at that level, there are plenty of other people who are willing to do so.  And there are plenty of people in the adult community that are more than willing to teach them this lesson.

I truly hope that this incident will make people stop and think about the tragedy behind it and that everyone will take a look at the young people around them to see if there are any signs of violent behavior. The young people can’t handle this epidemic of rage and violence by themselves.  It is about time that we all step up and help them before it is too late and another generation has perpetuated this destructive lifestyle.

I would really love your input on this matter.  Please share your  comments.