National sport already has a poor reputation for its display of bad manners and un-sportsmanlike conduct.
National sport already has a poor reputation for its display of bad manners and un-sportsmanlike conduct.

OPINION: Violence is wrong on or off field

EVERY time our football players walk on to the field, they are being watched by hundreds of the region's aspiring sport stars.

The last thing they need to be taught, whether it's watching them on or off the field, is that sport is an acceptable outlet for violence.

National sport already has a poor reputation for its display of bad manners and un-sportsmanlike conduct, whether it is only for a brief moment or an extended fight on the field.

Violence and bad behaviour is unfortunately not restricted to our professional athletes.

It happens in our local clubs too, as reports of two recent incidents show.

It is a shame when we hear reports of racial slurs being thrown around on the field, or violent incidents in the change-room.

Club officials have a responsibility to set clear boundaries, sending a message that this sort of behaviour should not be accepted anywhere in our sporting culture.

Violence has no place anywhere in our homes, workplaces, community events and our sporting fields.

It is important for the sake of our future athletes, who will see this and potentially absorb the messages communicated on and off the field, that we stamp out bad behaviour.