On Biting in Sport(s)

The clip above shows (amongst others) the now-famous 2014 FIFA World Cup biting-incident featuring Luis Suárez. One might ask, and indeed some have, what are the ethical and philosophical implications of such an act? Bearing in mind that :

“A prohibition against biting an opponent is not included in the rules of most contact sports, including football […]”

Doc. PhDr. Irena Parry Martínková and Professor Jim Parry of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, contemplate such things in a new paper for the scholarly journal Sport, Ethics and Philosophy : ‘On Biting in Sport : The Case of Luis Suárez’.

They continue;

“Nowhere in the rules of football does it prohibit the goalkeeper from carrying and using a machine gun, presumably because everyone can see that this would be the end of football as we know it, and no-one who wanted to play football would dream of doing it.”

And, furthermore for balance, it’s noted that there are some sports which not only don’t prohibit biting, but actively sanction it.

“Biting is [also] included in Kino Mutai, known as ‘the art of biting and pinching’, which is a subcategory of Filipino martial arts, but even here biting is rule-constrained, since the rules of Kino Mutai specify how to bite and exactly where to bite, in order to achieve a submission; and biting skills are subordinate to wrestling skills, especially grip-strength skills. ” [Note: a.k.a. Kinamotay]

The paper may be read in full here.

Also see: Further ethical/philosophical soccer-related incidents for consideration. (from: The Independent, June 25th, 2015)

 






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