Recent National Football League (NFL) issue between Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin has sparked great debate on the Hazing tradition in sports.
The debate started with the incident where Dolphins second year lineman Jonathan Stewart left the team to deal with emotional issues that were a result of threatening and racist slurs that former teammate Richie Incognito was sending through text messages. Richie has been suspended by the Miami Dolphins organization but the incident has drawn awareness on hazing in sports across the world.
Hazing is a sport tradition where freshman players are subjected to embarrassing activities to prove their loyalty to their respected teams. It is basically another word for initiation. The tradition has been a debatable issue for a long time now as some of the activities in hazing have been far too embarrassing or beyond boundaries of what people would deem acceptable. Now with the recent issue in the NFL, leagues are forced to look into hazing in their organization and also look into hazing policies.
The objective is very clear, sport figures want hazing to be gone all together but there are other sport figures that believe that hazing has been a crucial part of the sport culture and you cannot just change a culture with such long rich history. Other sport figures believe that hazing now is no where close to being as bad as it use to be in the earlier days, so if it was not a problem then why should it be a problem now. Brian Burke of the calgary flames has even went on the record to state that his team does not have a hazing policy and does not need one, hazing has been stupid and will remain stupid.
As a person who has been part of sports all my life yes I will agree that hazing/player intitiaion, whatever you want to call it is embedded in spot culture but it does seem to be getting out of hand. before activities consisted of carrying equipment for upper year players but now I have seen such incidents as players stripped naked and taped to goal posts then the video is posted online. People need to realize not all players are the same, where an incident might not affect one if might affect another. sport is suppose to be about unity, teamwork, well-being and how hazing occurs now a days goes completely against that.