Why Aren’t On-Field Sports Brawls Considered Assault/Battery?

Why Aren’t On-Field Sports Brawls Considered Assault/Battery?

On-field brawls aren’t uncommon in professional or amateur sports. Football players take a few swings, baseball players charge the mound and even hockey players throw down the gloves. In none of these cases do we ever see the police rushing out to break up the fight and cart the participants off to jail. But why?

It is the very rare case that someone consents to bodily harm. This is an element of assault and battery. The victim did not consent to being physically contacted, and they certainly did not have the assumption that they may be injured. It is a different case in sports, where players are generally deemed to have consented to physical contact and understand that there is a risk of injury.

There are three requirements that must be present in order to have consented in these circumstances. There can be no consent to serious bodily injury, the risk of harm must be a foreseeable consequence of conduct, and the person must have some type of benefit, like a paycheck, from the consent of such conduct. Because these requirements are very specific, they only apply in limited and unique circumstances, like athletics.

One of the best examples of a consent to assault and battery is in the world of boxing. These men and women consent to being physically struck multiple times in exchange for a payout. They accept the risks that these physical contacts bring, and they participate in the sport knowing that they could very well be injured.

It is rare that there are any other circumstances in which someone would not be arrested for assault and battery after striking someone and causing injury. If you have been arrested for  assault in Atlanta, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Reach out to Hawkins Spizman Kilgo today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.

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