Gone are the days when fans were unanimous in their attitudes towards fights on the sporting field.
Today, one extreme believes watching their favourite stars cross the line and belt each other off the ball is the pinnacle of what makes their sport great.
The other extreme is disgusted by the idea of something as pure as sport being tarnished by meatheads losing their cool.
Most sports fans sit somewhere between those two extremes, but few will be celebrating the crowd involvement in an on-field altercation at the Waratahs-Yenda Group 20 clash last weekend.
Fights during amateur games and crowd altercations are directly influenced by views on violence from the governing body, whatever the sport.
And sport governing bodies all over the globe are running from the idea of the sports field doubling as a boxing ring.
Fist fights still remain a major draw card in ice hockey, and it’s even used as a tactic by some teams to swing game momentum.
But even the NHL is phasing out-and-out fights from the game, with cheap shots and injury becoming more prevalent.
The NFL is decades ahead, to the point where players are reprimanded for even ‘intimidating’ the opposition with over-exuberant touchdown celebrations.
The AFL openly began sanitising it’s violent nature as soon as the brand became a professional sport in the early 1990s.
Fans were disgusted, branding the move financially driven, and a ploy to tear the heart out of the traditional game.
It could be argued the AFL’s decision was financially driven - to make the game more accessible to women, kids and anyone new to footy wanting to have a kick, and in turn raising the sport’s profile and membership base.
Twenty years later, and the AFL boasts the best sport membership numbers in the country, and its now unlikely to see a punch thrown over the course of an AFL season.
Few die-hard fans today suggest the game is soft or less of a product without ‘the biff’.
It’s an example how old-school attitudes towards the tribalism of sport are slowly changing, as sport becomes more of a marketable product.
Even if professional codes are meddling with the rules, sport should still provide enough entertainment value without having to rely on a fight livening up the action.
That applies for fans too – tribal support doesn’t mean acting like a neanderthal.
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