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There is a lot to be learned from the Stewart accident

Published 9:22am Tuesday, August 19, 2014

There are plenty of lessons we can take away from what happened with Tony Stewart 10 days ago.

Lessons that are not only applicable to NASCAR and all of racing, but to other sports as well.

Most of those lessons stem from anger issues I have watched grow over the last decade or so.

Most sports are physical in nature and because of that, there are people who cannot control their emotions during an event and those who do a much better job of channeling those emotions.

I can tell you I really began to notice a trend of growing violence in sports when Mike Tyson bitoff a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a match.

Biting continues to be a problem as witnessed in the latest edition of the World Cup.

But anger isn’t limited to traditional sports that feature contact.

It rears its ugly head in such gentlemen’s games like tennis.

But back to Tony Stewart and racing.

Drivers getting out of their cars is nothing new.

Heck, I can remember Stewart getting out after an accident on a short track and chucking his helmet at the windshield of Matt Kenseth.

I can remember, I believe it was Kyle Busch, trying to reach inside a car as it went by trying to get at that driver.

I can remember thinking back then that this has got to stop. Drivers cannot walk out on the track and try to exact revenge during a race.

But it continued on small, intermediate and large tracks around the country.

It was a time bomb waiting to go off and it finally did with fatal results.

Now it is time to learn from that incident.

NASCAR issued a rule on Friday at Michigan International Speedway saying that drivers may no longer exit their cars unless there is a safety issue, until safety crews reach them and tell them it is okay to exit the car.

They must then head straight to the ambulance or other safety vehicle and not to approach the track or other moving vehicles.

This rule needs to filter down to all tracks and hopefully it will make the sport much safer.

 

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at scott.novak@leaderpub.com.

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