Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Youth Wrestler Sucker-Punches Opponent

Sports are usually a thing that brings people together in a competitive manner. However, sometimes people can get too emotional over a loss and may react violently. We see this many times at baseball games, particularly those with rivalries like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Wrestling is no different. 

In Chicago, a young wrestler punched another wrestler after losing a fight. In a video that has gone viral, we see Cooper Corder, 14 giving his hand to his opponent Hafid Alicea who is also 14. However, Alicea responds with a sucker punch knocking down Corder to the mat. Corder was left in a fetal position shaking in pain and nervousness as his mom and others rushed to his aid.  He was bleeding.  A coach or perhaps Corder's father is seen gesticulating and shouting at Alicea as he is taken away.  

The police were called and investigated the matter. Alicea's parents spoke to them, and Alicea himself said he punched Corder simply because he was upset that he lost the match. He was cited for assault.  

This whole incident is unfortunate.  There are calls for the banning of Hafid Alicea, however, there has been no word on whether or not the powers that be will take this course of action. It is clear that a message must be sent to all youth athletes that this behavior cannot be tolerated. Losing is part of life. No one is going to win all the time. Young people need to learn this.  Young Alicea should be taken for a mental health evaluation to see why he is so easily angered and why he misplaces in anger in such a violent way.  If not, things can get worse as he ages. He may fight anyone for any reason or may even become physical with a partner and bring about a domestic violence case.  

Moreover, some took to social media in order to turn this into a racial issue. I have seen tweets stating that "white people seem to become punching bags now" and other racially charged commentaries. This is uncalled for.  While the two boys are of different races, this does not mean the punch was racial in nature. As you can see in this photo above from hudl, Alicea is pictured with a Caucasian wrestler in an amicable embrace. 

We hope the matter can be settled and young Alicea learned his lesson. Sucker punches are for cowards. They are definitely not supposed to exist at a youth sporting event.  

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