A Blessington Player was hospitalised from an incident that occurred in a League game this morning. The player in question is said to have a fractured chin and lost his two front teeth with damage to four of his teeth in total despite him having a gum shield in at the time.
The incident occurred late in the game and gardai were called to the scene and are believed to have spoken with the match official and others at the game. The remaining minutes of the game after the incident had occurred passed off without incident but this was a very disappointing blotch on what has been a relatively incident free year for the GAA in Wicklow and this is a step in the wrong direction.
In any sport tensions will inevitably get high and passions can get out of hand but at the end of the day it’s a game we all play and sport is a great thing. The ethos is that a sporting event is played in a sporting manner, victories are gained and defeats are had in a sporting manner and we should all be able to wake up on a Monday morning and go to work without having false teeth being put in or a jaw rewired because of punches being thrown in a game.
If you throw a box on a night out and you break somebody’s jaw, you face the full barrels of the law and the punishment more often than not fits the crime. The sanctions on incidents like these have to be changed as how can we promote a game that you can end up with such nasty injuries from a non sporting act. When you raise your arm in anger outside a GAA pitch you know the consequences and you think twice, the same must be the case on a sports field. Everyone is human and tempers do flare and most people and players relish when a game is a real physical contest but there has to be a line and once it’s crossed you know exactly the consequences. Nobody intentionally enters the field of play to break someone’s jaw or to recklessly injure an opponent and players can suffer nasty injuries in general play but when it happens in a malicious way there has to be severe consequences and that’s something that the GAA needs to address broadly.
We wish the player in question a speedy recovery and hope that he recovers as best he can and hope that these instances are swiftly taken out of our games.