Earlier today I had a conversation with my mother regarding the violent behavior of football players in the National Football League. It is important that I clearly indicate that the football players I am referring to play in the NFL because my mother, Sipora Groen, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland, takes umbrage in the fact that we call the sport football. I’ve heard her say countless times, ” That’s not football. They call it that but it’s not football.” For my mother, what Americans call soccer is the REAL football. It’s no secret how she feels about American football either. She hates it. And for her, the recent rash of violence from its players is vindication for her opinion.
The point she wants to make, and specifically asked me to relate to my readers, is that the nature of the sport creates an inevitability of this behavior. She believes that a sport with constant violent hits, and men jumping on top of each other to keep the other men down, sometimes in large piles, creates such a pent-up aggression that these men are left with a need to relieve this aggression in some manner or another. She is appalled by the domestic violence as any other normal person would be, but she also feels that the sport is not a normal sport and that as it exists in its current form will ultimately lead to more violence off the field.
She went on to say that she even believes that boxing is better because it only involves two people and the actions of these 2 people in the ring are carefully monitored. She dismissed out of hand my notion that football is carefully monitored as well because in football men just haphazardly pile on top of each other. She is very clear about her opinion. Unless the actual sport of football changes, more players will be involved in off the field violence. She feels so strongly about this that it is her opinion that Ray Rice would not have hit his fiance, now his wife, in the elevator if it were not for his involvement in football. I disagreed with this, but she insisted she was right, and at 92 and sharp as a tack, she very well could be.
Once my mother was done giving her opinion I promised I’d write this, but also told her I had to go. I wanted to watch the football game.
Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes