53 Ins. Counsel J. 264 (1986)
Violence in the Stands: When Fans and Players Meet

handle is hein.journals/defcon53 and id is 266 raw text is: Page 264

Introduction                                     264
I. The Problem                                 265
A. The Nature of Sports                      265
B. Theories for Spectator Violence           265
1. Social Values                          266
2. Identiflcation                          66
3. Aggressive Reactions                   966
C. Should This Be An Area Where Tort
Principles Apply                          967
II. Should Players Be Liable                   268
A. 2attery                                    689
B. Relesness                                26
Ill. Should Owners and Managers Be Uable --------.V0
A. Vicarious Uablilty for Intentional Torts  270
B. Direct Liability for Failure to Centrol Players  272
IV. Alternative Solutions                       274
A. Are Internal Controls Sufficient          274
B. Management Initiatives                   974
V. The Future                                  275
The problem . . . is not with competition
per se but with the violence that excessive
competition arouses. This should be the
grave concern of everyone connected with
sport. It is getting out of hand in all
nations, and a halt must be called.1
In recent years, the incidence of violence
on the professional sports field has been in-
creasing. The two most notably violent
sports -   football2 and hockey3 - have been
plagued      by   repeated      brawls     between
players.4 Frustrated with inadequate reme-
dies of an internal control system, players
have begun to take their grievances to
The phenomenon of combat among
participants may be easily explained by an
ethic among coaches embodied in the rules
of play, that violent tactics are the key to
1J. MIcHENER, SPoRTs IN AMERiCA 427 (1976).
2See, e.g., Furlong, Football Violence, N.Y. Times,
Nov. 30, 1980, § 6 (Magazine), at 38.
aSee, e.g., Anderson, A Player's Right Not to
Fight, N.Y. Times, Feb. 2, 1982, at D23.
4For example, on May 8, 1982, the New York
Islanders and the Vancouver Canucks opened the
Stanley Cup finals with a genuine bull-and-bear
rumble. Vecsey, Seamy Side of Hockey, N.Y. Times,
May 10, 1982, at C3.
ISee, e.g., Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, Inc.,
601 F2d 516 (10th Cir 1979); Note, Torts in Sports
- I'll See You in Court!f, 16 AxRON L. REv. 537

JANE A. SAZDvEs received
her A.B. from     Cornell
University, in 1981, and
her   J.D.   from    Case
Western Reserve Univer-
sity, School of Law, in
1985. She is an associate
with the law firm of
Moses   &   Singer, New
York, New     York. Her
article  won   honorable
mention in the 1985 Legal
Writing Contest.

success in a violent game.6 For example,
Don Cherry, coach of the Boston Bruins
hockey team, emphasizes, It has always
been my philosophy to win at all costs.7
And Vince Lombardi, long time coach of
the Green Bay Packers football team, prose-
lytized: To play this game you must have
fire in you . . . and there is nothing that
stokes fire like hate.6
The more perplexing problem, however,
is attempting to explain why the violence
spills over from the field and into the
stands. Even if that question can be -ade-
quately resolved, the difficult issue becomes
whether the injured spectator can then seek
redress in the judicial system. This paper
proposes that although under certain cir-
cumstances the spectator plaintiff may have
a cause of action against the players,
coaches, and owners, alternative remedies
must be explored.
The nature of sports and the various
theories which have been proposed for
spectator violence will be discussed first.
Next, principles and policy considerations
which justify allowing a new cause of
action in this area will be addressed. The
second section will apply traditional legal
standards to test the direct liability of
players and owners to spectators. In addi-
tion, whether the vicarious liability of
VIOLENcE IN SpoRTS 52 (1979).

Freeport, New York

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