I don't believe in banning fighting, nor do I have a ton of sympathy for people with injuries sustained from years of being a pro athlete. Most of these sports have been around for almost 100 years, if you do not realize the dangers before receiving a pay check you're already brain damaged. When a solider has long term knee problems from years of running, or a fire fighter is burned while putting out a fire, nobody is shocked. These guys are paid an insane amount of money to play a sport. I'm not going to cry for them because they are putting there bodies out there as a result.
Again, the injuries you refer to result from activities that are necessary parts of being a soldier or a firefighter. Fighting is by no means essential to the game of hockey.
Furthermore, junior elligibabity starts at age 16. There are a lot of naive, young players who are pigeonholed into a fighter role because of their size or other factors. If they don't go with the role they're given, their career is pretty much over. A naive person, with little formal education will almost always make the choice that allows them to keep playing. I'm usually all for allowing people to make their own mistakes. But the situation here is coercive, plain and simple. The junior hockey clubs rake in the cash, while players are usually paid nothing except for the chance to be drafted.
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