Monday, December 28, 2009

Boxing Day

This weekend was Boxing Day, which of course has nothing to do with the sport. But, then, I was never one to pass up a pun no matter how lame. so, before I get accused of being cheesy, let me beat you to the pun(ch).

So, the question is whether it is morally problematic to support boxing. Here is a sport in which the object is to strike your opponent in the head with such force that it bangs against the inside of his skull hard emough to cause him to involuntarily black out. It is clearly a glorification of violence in a society that does not need violence to be glorified.

Let's set aside the question of the boxers themselves. Surely, they choose to participate in the sport and to some degree it is their body to do with as they choose. They train with incredible intensity to put themselves in amazing physical condition. It is not two people randomly throwing punches, there is an art and a science to the sport and it takes years of commitment to learn to truly box well.

But then there are the folks who pay the money, be it for live tickets or pay per view. These are folks who pay to watch someone brutalized for their amusement. And not just anyone, these are people who pay to watch poor people brutalized for their amusement. After all, who are the only people who box. You never hear someone say, "I was going to law school when I realized, I just wanted to be back in the ring." If you want to see who are the recent immigrants trying to work their way up the social/economic ladder, look at who is boxing. It seems like exploitation at its worst. But then how could the boxers be exploited if they are choosing to pursue a career in the sport. At the same time, their choices are not entirely free because of class circumstances.

So, is there anything wrong with being a boxing fan?