Unsportsmanlike: Biting and Flagrant Fouls

            By Vic Odarve

The whole planet undoubtedly loves and watches sports, but if the unsportsmanlike behavior such as biting and flagrant fouls is witnessed during matches, sports lose its splendor and defeat its purpose. Although the contests, whether played individually or in teams involve physical strength, skill, and endurance, as in football and boxing, biting one’s opponent ear or shoulder cannot be tolerated. Flagrant fouls, too, which are often seen in basketball games, are glaring into the eyes of the spectators and millions who watch on their television sets. These unsportsmanlike behaviors will be condemned by society at highest maximum terms. Games are supposed to foster camaraderie, and develop specific physical skills so that a high level of fitness can be maintained and developed a superhero whose names are worthy to be emulated by the next generation.

Suarez bites the shoulder of an Italian defender in FIFA World Cup, Brazil.

Suarez bites the shoulder of an Italian defender in FIFA World Cup, Brazil.

But take a look in the recently concluded FIFA World Cup held in Brazil! Biting one’s opponent becomes a talk of the media, put an indelible marks on the whole event. Although some want to play sports to have fun and honors and glory, others are trying to win at all costs; that’s why the game goes out to unsportsmanlike behavior such as biting one opponent’s shoulder. This is exactly what happened to Suárez in the football match when he ran into the penalty area and collided with Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. Although both players fell to the ground during contact, Suarez dropped his face into Chiellini’s shoulder and left a bite mark.

Aside from football, boxing being also a contact sport is not free from biting marks. Frustration and anger grow when a player thinks on losing end. That was what happened to Mike Tyson. Sensing that he could not get a proper rhythm in his opponent’s movements, Mike Tyson lost composure and bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in the third round of their heavyweight rematch last June 28, 1997. The picture was clear; he spit out his mouthpiece, bit his opponent’s right ear and spit it into the canvas. Worst, when fight was resumed after a brief stoppage, Tyson also bit

Tyson bites the ears of Holyfield

Tyson bites the ears of Holyfield

Holyfield’s  ear.

In a world of basketball, too, flagrant fouls are frequently called by the referees, whether at PBA or NBA. Dirty plays such as grabbing and trying to twist your arms out of the socket or break your elbows and punching one’s face are common sights. These actions look like having nothing to do with basketball games. In a recent games played in the PBA at Araneta Coliseum, Alaska import Henry Walker with busted lower lip was wincing and grimacing in pain on the bench as he got treatment on his right arm in the closing minutes of Rain or Shine’s blowout win over the Aces in Game 2 of their semifinal series. This picture again how unsportsmanlike behavior takes its toll in our basketball leagues.

Of course, we have laws and corresponding penalties to discipline the offenders. Luis

PBA import Walker grimacing in pain after the game.

PBA import Walker grimacing in pain after the game.

Suárez, Uruguay’s striker, will be banned for nine matches after being found guilty of biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini; fined 100,000 Swiss francs, or about $112,000. Suárez’s ban is the longest World Cup suspension issued for an on-field action.

On Tyson’ case, the biting of Hollyfield’s ear disqualified him from the match with 10 seconds left in the third round; his $30 million  was withheld while boxing officials reviewed the fight.

In the PBA game, the former New York Knicks 6-foot-5 Walker merited a flagrant foul; offender fined P20,000.00 by the league before the conference “for misconduct and misdemeanor” during the game.

Games competition sponsored by big leagues like FIFA, IBF/WBC, NBA, PBA will boost morale of young athletes; but in trying to win or excel in sports, athletes must

Madonna University Chancellor's Cup June 2014, Elele Campus

Madonna University Chancellor’s Cup June 2014, Elele Campus, Rivers state, Nigeria, Africa

never resort to biting and flagrant fouls. Unsportsmanlike behaviors truly ruin the spirit of the games because sport can, and does, make a profound and positive impact on individuals, communities, and wider society.

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