Slap Competitions

O'Malley

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Even good smart kids make dumb mistakes. That's the point of restricting access to dangerous stuff.
 
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Steve

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Is there an argument for letting these idiotic people participate in these idiotic activities in the spirit of the Darwin Awards?
Because there is money involved, and it's for a crowd, there's a huge element of exploitation that is very problematic to me.

On an individual basis, I'm all for people killing themselves however they like. But when money starts getting involved, I think the situation changes fundamentally. Why aren't child labor laws or workplace safety laws optional? If I can find a person who's willing to climb the building without a harness, or remove asbestos without proper protective equipment, is that on them or on me?

My point is, whether or not it's wrong has nothing to do with whether people are willing or not, informed or not.
 

MetalBoar

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The kink stuff is a bad comparison. Those people may do weird stuff but they have safety measures in place so that it's generally harmless. Also, it stays in the realm of one's intimacy.

The slap competition is more problematic for a lot of reasons. Firstly, the game is designed to maximise brain damage by almost turning it into a win condition and prohibiting contestants from reducing it. Secondly, an entertainment corporation tries to make tons of bucks off people getting that brain damage on TV so it's not only about two consenting adults anymore, but when **** inevitably hits the fan it will be hard to hold anyone accountable. And thirdly, the fact that the competition is transmitted on TV may push kids to try it out on their developing skulls and brains (and the barrier to entry is much lower than combat sports).
So I admit I was being a little facetious, but there is some relevance. If this "sport" makes the participants feel super tough, or they find the challenge of developing the technique behind a really powerful slap from a fixed position to be so compelling that they really want to participate, then philosophically, I think that consenting adults should be allowed to do it and that adults who want to pay to watch should be allowed to do so. The challenge for me comes from what @Steve is talking about, to what degree are these people being exploited and encouraged to do something that's harmful and that they would not do without said encouragement? To what degree do celebrity and money represent an obstacle to meaningful consent?

I know people who view boxing or American football the same way that most of us on this thread view slap competitions. I can't really tell them they're wrong, because you know what? If you play tackle football, or box, you noticeably raise your risk of CTE and if you do it professionally you've raised it a lot. If you're watching the NFL playoffs this weekend you're almost undoubtedly going to see some guys (probably a lot of guys) who've already gotten CTE from the sport and the game you're watching is going to make it worse. The team owners and promoters have known about the problem for years and just like the tobacco industry did their best to cover it up, yet I don't hear more than a few outliers calling for a ban on the NFL, because it's "normal".

If you aren't a combat sport aficionado, boxing and MMA can just look barbaric and brutal with no redeeming value. You and I may see the difference between them and a slap competition, but I know for a fact that for a lot of people the difference between them and slap competitions is a matter of small nuance, not nature. Slap competitions are an edge case in the overarching category that is combat sports and I could make comparisons to edge cases in kink or other activities, in which to the uninitiated, it all simply looks essentially the same. The things like this that we've all grown up with are "normal" and don't get the same level of scrutiny as those things that are more exotic, regardless of relative risk.
 
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Steve

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So I admit I was being a little facetious, but there is some relevance. If this "sport" makes the participants feel super tough, or they find the challenge of developing the technique behind a really powerful slap from a fixed position to be so compelling that they really want to participate, then philosophically, I think that consenting adults should be allowed to do it and that adults who want to pay to watch should be allowed to do so. The challenge for me comes from what @Steve is talking about, to what degree are these people being exploited and encouraged to do something that's harmful and that they would not do without said encouragement? To what degree do celebrity and money represent an obstacle to meaningful consent?

I know people who view boxing or American football the same way that most of us on this thread view slap competitions. I can't really tell them they're wrong, because you know what? If you play tackle football, or box, you noticeably raise your risk of CTE and if you do it professionally you've raised it a lot. If you're watching the NFL playoffs this weekend you're almost undoubtedly going to see some guys (probably a lot of guys) who've already gotten CTE from the sport and the game you're watching is going to make it worse. The team owners and promoters have known about the problem for years and just like the tobacco industry did their best to cover it up, yet I don't hear more than a few outliers calling for a ban on the NFL, because it's "normal".

If you aren't a combat sport aficionado, boxing and MMA can just look barbaric and brutal with no redeeming value. You and I may see the difference between them and a slap competition, but I know for a fact that for a lot of people the difference between them and slap competitions is a matter of small nuance, not nature. Slap competitions are an edge case in the overarching category that is combat sports and I could make comparisons to edge cases in kink or other activities, in which to the uninitiated, it all simply looks essentially the same. The things like this that we've all grown up with are "normal" and don't get the same level of scrutiny as those things that are more exotic, regardless of relative risk.
Great post and a lot of great points. I've been thinking about the question, what (if anything) is different about this than American Football, Boxing, or MMA?

Not sure I have a good answer yet, but some things that I've considered in no particular order.
  1. In other sports, folks are encouraged... or even required... to protect themselves at all times. In this activity, it is against the rules to do so.
  2. Generally, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the activity is as safe as possible regardless of the profession.
  3. There is a huge disparity between the risk involved and the compensation. These guys are risking their lives for peanuts... my general presumption is that people who make a decent living would never consider something this stupid, which is what makes it seem exploitive.
So, while American football, rugby, soccer, boxing, and MMA are all very dangerous, this slap competition thing is still different. That said, I will admit that as I learn more about the long term effects on the athletes, the less interested I am in watching these sports. But I understand why other people are.
 

Gyakuto

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Treading the very wide and blurry line between libertarianism and the authoritarianism.

I wonder if the slappers are likely to be less willing to take part now that theyve seem someone killed by the activity? Or is their greed for the prize money and that human attitude of it wont happen to me going to make them ignore the new data?

I increasingly feel like Im an adult watching other peoples children about to do something potentially dangerous or even lethal and having to suppress my safeguarding instinct.仄
 

Gerry Seymour

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I'm not really opposed to it either. I don't really get it, but I don't have to get it. I've got a number of friends in the kink/BDSM community and some of them are into some things I don't get either. If two consenting adults are into taking turns slapping each other on TV and other people are in to watching it, I don't have a problem with it, I just don't want to be slapped nor slap the average person in this scenario.
My objection to it is as others have pointed out. Its just begging for CTE. Theres literally no defense, while someone slaps you as hard as they can. Its beyond foolish.
 

Gerry Seymour

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But if a kid thinks it looks cool and then participates.chlorine in their gene pool!
I assume you were at least half joking here, but I dont agree with the sentiment. Kids dont have the ability to properly judge consequences (the part of the brain responsible for that isnt fully formed), so they are going to make bad decisions.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Treading the very wide and blurry line between libertarianism and the authoritarianism.

I wonder if the slappers are likely to be less willing to take part now that theyve seem someone killed by the activity? Or is their greed for the prize money and that human attitude of it wont happen to me going to make them ignore the new data?

I increasingly feel like Im an adult watching other peoples children about to do something potentially dangerous or even lethal and having to suppress my safeguarding instinct.仄
The proximity effect is pretty strong, regarding risk. Folks who knew the man who died are much more likely to see it as dangerous. Others are likely to see that as an exceptional event.
 

MetalBoar

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My objection to it is as others have pointed out. Its just begging for CTE. Theres literally no defense, while someone slaps you as hard as they can. Its beyond foolish.
I hear you and I don't completely disagree, but as I pointed out in a later post, as just one example, the data on the NFL looks pretty damning in this regard also. If you're on the offensive line you don't really have any significant defense against CTE either, at least not if you make a career of pro football. It just sort of appears that way when you look at each down individually, but not so much in the aggregate.

Now the NFL pays a lot better, so if the argument is that with slap competitions you're destroying your brain for peanuts to entertain people and that's the problem, then we have a different discussion (and it probably degenerates to the arena of banned political discussion rapidly).
 

Gyakuto

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I assume you were at least half joking here, but I dont agree with the sentiment. Kids dont have the ability to properly judge consequences (the part of the brain responsible for that isnt fully formed), so they are going to make bad decisions.
I was, joking. I dont have kids so know little about them and sleep really well for at least 8 hours per night. But I was reading a collection of honest parenting posts about them earlier today and .worrying about the next way theyll find to injure/kill themselves in the guise of having fun was high on the list! After reading the long set of posts from parents, it doesnt look like a lot of fun from the outside.
 

Dirty Dog

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Are there any sports where opponents attempt to occlude one anothers cerebral blood flow/respiratory air flow to produce unconsciousness? Or perhaps try to punch and kick one another in the head in attempt to cause sufficient damage to produce unconsciousness? Are there arts that claim to train their disciples to kill with one punch?

If persons engage in these activities of their own free will, they should be prepared for the potential dire consequences and, in the U.K., have private health care so as not to burden our stretched NHS.
One major difference to consider is that, in those other sports, the person being hit is allowed to do things to decrease or eliminate the impact.
 

Tigerwarrior

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It looks stupid. The money isn't good, and it's horrible for the brain. When did arm wrestling fall out of style? I saw not too long ago an event with a 100k prize. Yes it's a tough contest but at least no brain damage. There's better ways to test yourself and your skills with less risk. Point tournaments, full contact with rules, grappling tournaments etc.
 

Cynik75

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There is 8 bilions people on the Earth. Statistically tens or hundreds of milions of them are... not very clever.
 

Darren

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This is pretty much it, right here.
Its stupid!!! We train to slap, hit, kick, elbow, stomp, rapture, etc. the head but only in self defense!!!! Never to intentionally kill, hurt, or anything of the kind!!!!!!!!!
 
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Steve

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Someone died from this already?

From last month. Looks like it was about a year ago, according to this link.
 
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