The Copa Libertadores final and the allure of violence in sports
“Violence has no place in football.” This is the sort of thing people always say after violence has broken out in a way that would appear to prove the opposite, and it seems to me that anyone who says it is either lying or missing the point. Of course violence has a place in soccer. It has a place—a deep, foundational, ineradicable place—in every sport. Proximity to the roots of violence is not the only thing sports offers us, but it’s such an essential part of the enterprise that without it, I’m not sure what we’d be left to watch, or whether we’d want to.
The question, then, is how the violence that is the omnipresent subtext of sports can be kept from becoming the text.