Tuesday Column By VICTORIA NGOZI IKEANO
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“Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev has died in the United States following injuries sustained during his fight with Subriel Matias. The 28-year-old underwent emergency brain surgery in Washington after his super-lightweight bout with Puerto Rican Matias was stopped after the 11th round by his corner man. Dadashev was unable to walk to the dressing room and was immediately hospitalised. Doctors operated to relieve pressure from swelling on his brain”
“Formula Two driver Antoine Hubert killed after 160 kilometres per hour collision… As a result of the crash, the FIA regrets to inform that the driver of car number 19 Antoine Hubert of France succumbed to his injuries and passed away at 18.36 CET. The driver of car number 12, Juan-Manuel Correa of the United States is in a stable condition and is being treated at the hospital”.
Above quotations are snippets of reports of latest deaths in two global sports, namely, boxing and motor racing. They are not the first in such sports and sadly, one dares to say, will not be the last. I need not intimate you with the countless number of boxers and drivers that have lost their lives while indulging in these dangerous sports, despite technological advances to mitigate and save lives. Organisers of motorsport known as Formula One for example, say they had over time introduced improvements in racing cars and kits as safeguards. But how can anybody driving (as they do) at a speed of over 180 kilometres per hour in dangerous bends and then crashing into a concrete ever hope to survive? The chances of survival are minimal for, it is against the laws of physics, the laws of nature. There is a limit to what the body can endure/take which at all times must adhere to the natural laws if it is to remain healthy and not be harmed in one way or other. It is like a swimmer attempting to swim against the tide. No matter how expertly the swimmer is, he/she cannot overcome the currents in that direction unless he/she swims along with it.
And to think that thousands, indeed millions of enthusiasts follow this motorsport live and on television. Sports is said to be for entertainment and relaxation. Pray what is entertaining, relaxing or refreshing in seeing several drivers simultaneously racing along at horrendous speeds, negotiating dangerous bends and criss-crossing one another at such speeds and in fact severally missing crashing into one another by a hair’s breadth? Crashes do occur from time to time but it is only the deaths that grab headline news as those that get injured do not get headlines as such. Apparently, injuries are considered as ‘normal’ in this sport. The average person can hardly watch motor racing without having his breadth in his mouth. And the millions across the globe that watch this dangerous sport live, stoically, without blinking an eyelid throughout, must be super human so to speak. One is tempted to ask whether they are really human beings. Every sport whether professional or amateur is supposed to inculcate in its participants some traits. For instance, football is said to engender in people the value of cooperation, the importance of cooperating with others and working with a unity of purpose, to achieve a common goal. What values does motor racing inculcate into the drivers?
Did I hear you say, courage, heroism? And I ask, heroism, courage to what end? To what practical value has their heroism/ courage served mankind? Have they used it to save their countries, any nation or any individual in distress? Their so-called display of courage in participating in motor racing is for self-adulation and to titillate the morbid craving of its followers as well as enthusiasts for broken bones and ‘blood’. High speed motor racing cum motor sports is not worth indulging in by a human being. It is extreme sports and anything that is extreme is wrong, harmful. Those who participate in it are liable to being maimed and killed. In this instance it is self-imposed and equivalent to suicide. Also organisers of this type of sport, including those who encourage it directly and indirectly are culpable in one way or other for the deaths therefrom and also guilty of murder.
What is said here of motor sports rings true of boxing, another dangerous sports. Even if boxers escape death in the ring, the debilitating effects of constant pummelling of their bodies and heads stay with them for life after retirement from the sports. Mohammed Ali acknowledged by fans as a legend of boxing, suffers from Parkinson disease to-date. Again, there is no way a professional boxer can take constant beatings to his body over the course of many years without adverse consequences. Ultimately, it leads to health problems, gradual weakening of the body. Those that partake in boxing as a profession are abusing their bodies, just like professional prostitutes, and guilty of crime against their bodies, against the laws of nature which bear the Will of God, the Almighty Creator.
One is also baffled at the millions of people that enjoy this sport going by the countless spectators that follow it, paying large sums to see live boxing contests. They giggle, quaff and laugh as a boxer is being battered by blows from his opponent. They even egg a boxer to land more heavy blows to the head and body of his competitor. How can anyone be happy at a boxer being seriously hurt? While some of us who manage to watch boxing telecasts are grimacing and even crying, ringside spectators are applauding such brutality. I am perplexed. What manner of sports are these?