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Shaw: Boxing destroys brains, should be banned

FARGO -- After watching the numerous video clips showing the brilliance of Muhammad Ali in and out of the boxing ring, followed by his dramatic decline in health, I say...Boxing should be banned. There's no justifying a sport where the objective ...

FARGO -- After watching the numerous video clips showing the brilliance of Muhammad Ali in and out of the boxing ring, followed by his dramatic decline in health, I say...
Boxing should be banned. There’s no justifying a sport where the objective is to pummel and knock out your opponent. I have to admit that I enjoyed watching the boxing matches of

Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Marvin Hagler, and others. I had fun attending a couple of matches of North Dakota’s pride and joy Virgil Hill, and I’ve always loved movies ranging from “Rocky” to “Raging Bull.”

I acknowledge that successful boxers are excellent athletes. They have to be strong, quick, and have great stamina. Ali of course was more than just an outstanding athlete. He was courageous, charismatic, and principled. Ali was recognized as a man of peace, even though he took part in a violent sport. It was painful to see Ali suffer and deteriorate over the last 32 years because of too many blows to the head. The sport that made him an international hero took away his considerable physical and verbal skills.

Unfortunately, the problem goes far beyond Ali. Boxers can suffer anything from broken ribs and jaws, to a loss of vision, to brain damage. That brain damage can cause memory loss, slurred speech, loss of balance, tremors, or even death. Do the names of Davey Moore, Benny Paret, Francisco Rodriguez or Robert Wangila ring a bell? Probably not. They are among the dozens of boxers who have died from their brutal beatings in the ring.

The human head is simply not made to sustain repeated punches to it. The American, British, Canadian, and Australian Medical Associations have all called for the abolishment of boxing, because of its link to brain damage. As much as I have enjoyed watching boxing, I have to admit it’s barbaric. Watching a human being trying to physically punish another human is not a true sport.

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Yes, there are several other dangerous sports out there. Auto racing, and even football (which I played and love watching), come to mind. However, boxing is the only sport where the sole goal is to seriously hurt your opponent. It’s time to get rid of it.

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