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Topend Sports Newsletter: 24 August 2015

 Sports Science Alert (SSA) #027

Blood Sports - the barbaric and forgotten history of sports

I thought I knew a lot about sports, but I was recently surprised to learn about some sports in history that were quite barbaric, and surprisingly popular. These 'blood sports' have been largely ignored or conveniently forgotten. Bloods sports mostly originated around the 16th to 17th century and involved animal cruelty for the pleasure of the participants and spectators. They included animal baiting pits where people watched animals fight each other to the death, or even people fighting animals. Animal tossing involved competitions to throw animals the highest, and other sports involved throwing sticks at animals until they died. Not what we would call sports nowadays.

Some elements of these sports are still being practised today, the most well known probably being bullfighting and even boxing and hunting are types of blood sports. These sports don't fit well with the modern social conscience, as demonstrated by the outcry at the killing of Cecil the lion by a trophy hunter. Many of these ancient sports died out as they became unacceptable, as will no doubt these modern versions.

 


Related Content on Topend Sports



Poll: Do you think Bull Fighting is a sport?


Do you agree that activities which involve killing an animal should be considered a sport. What do you think? See the poll here.

 


Video: Chimp Plays Sport


Another twist on the animals and sport debate, here's a video of a chimpanzee playing human sports. Some may argue the cruelty in forcing animals to do this, but it looks like fun for everyone, and no one gets hurt. That's how it should be!


The Sport Science Alert (SSA) newsletter brings you the latest news in sport, science, fitness and nutrition. Created by Rob Wood of Topend Sports, the ultimate online sport and science resource.

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