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January 14, 1983

The Deadly Degrading Sport

Author Affiliations

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City

JAMA. 1983;249(2):250-251. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260068038

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How strange that, in this climate of preoccupation with health and physical fitness and with near-hysterical concern for every conceivable deleterious factor in the environment, so few raise their voices against boxing. How strange, when strident voices urge equality for all and promote and make capital of support for equal rights, that poor and minority youth are recruited and rewarded for sacrificing themselves to a spectacle for the more favored of whatever ethnic or fiscal group.

What factors contribute to this continued public spectacle of brutality, and the literal sacrifice of minority youth for the profit and delectation of self-styled sportsmen?

In fairness to the boxing game and its proponents, let us review the widely shared ignorance about the effects of trauma on the brain and the implications of being knocked unconscious.

Head injury from falls and blows is a common incident in the animated cartoons of children's shows. The