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Hockey and Kings Deserve to Be Treated With a Little Respect

May 21, 1988

Why is it that Scott Ostler and other Times sportswriters are continually criticizing hockey for violence while ignoring what happens in other sports?

True, hockey is violent, but let's put it into some perspective. Death is the ultimate violence to the human body. Since 1930, high school, college and professional football have caused around 1,000 deaths. Since World War II, boxing and auto racing have each had around 400 deaths.

The NHL, on the other hand, has had exactly one on-ice fatality since its formation in 1917, and that lone fatality was not the result of a fight. In my mind, this makes hockey about as dangerous as major league baseball. Sportswriters are supposed to be aware of these facts.

If you really hate hockey, Mr. Ostler, don't watch it. But don't try to convince us it's more violent than other sports.

PHILLIP E. SPRAGUE

Stanton

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