Kenny Florian weighs in on the cowardly 'Knockout Game'
NOV 25, 2013 2:21p ET
I'm sure some of you have seen the sickening videos going around the internet about the kids who are playing the "knockout game". For those who haven't seen these videos, these kids are trying to knock strangers out cold to cure their boredom. These are surprise attacks that kids are springing on unsuspecting men, women and fellow kids. The attacks are happening in various parts of the country and many are getting seriously injured. As someone who spent many years studying mixed martial arts and training my body for unarmed combat, I understand the dangers of what they are trying to accomplish. This is NOT safe, NOT funny and extremely dangerous.
There is a saying in combat sports that goes, "the punches you don't see are the punches that hurt you". When the eyes, brain and/or body aren't prepared to take a strike, the blows are way more likely to hurt or incapacitate someone. These are the very dangerous blows that kids are executing on the streets of major cities across the U.S. Imagine walking down the street on your way to work and having someone hit you on the jaw as hard they can without you even seeing them coming. This is a violent attack, plain and simple.
I was absolutely livid the first time I read about and saw a video of these attacks. In one video, a man was walking down the street minding his business holding a briefcase in one hand as he walked by a group of 4 or 5 teenagers. One of the teenagers then blindsides the man and knocks him out cold as his limp body falls face first onto the pavement. The high school cowards then sprint away. In another video a woman walking down the sidewalk with her purse gets struck from behind by a teenager's haymaker punch and again gets left knocked out on the pavement. In these cases the kids aren't trying to rob the individuals of anything. Their only goal is to see if they can land a knockout blow on an unsuspecting victim. The stupidity of this is mind boggling. Is this the world we are living in now? What happened to kids playing sports? What happened to going out and watching a funny movie? What happened to video games? What happened to respect and common decency? Never did I expect to give a "these kids these days" kind of speech but nothing sickens me more than seeing kids in the United States doing ignorant things such as knocking people out for fun. Not only can they severely injure and even kill someone, but they themselves risk death in the process. One such teenager got shot a couple times and ended up in jail for his attack. It is the ultimate irony if kids are doing this to see how "manly" they are. There is absolutely nothing manly about knocking out a person who is not expecting to be hit and there is certainly nothing funny about hurting anyone. I fear that this is only going to put people on alert even more when walking the city streets. Adults will be even quicker to pull their guns or be first to react violently if they feel threatened.
The problem is that we live in an age where empathy has been lost. Kids are bullying other kids more than ever. Personal communication skills are lost among the younger generation. Kids know about texting, tweeting, video games but barely look you in the eye if you talk to them. It's easy to be anonymous and hurtful on the internet. There really aren't any repercussions for being a jerk online. You don't have to be face to face with the people you hate on. This is now extending into the real world. Parents are more attached to work than family these days. Kid's have computers & gaming devices as their best friends. Social "MEDIA" has become more important than social "SKILLS". We as families are missing the problems because we mainly live in a virtual world. Kids and their computers are forming stronger bonds these days and aren't really monitored by adults. We are adapting to this virtual world and becoming less "human" in the process losing our ability to truly connect with others. It used to be that we had to rely on other humans to survive. Now we use hate and pain to bring us further apart from each other. Our adaptability makes us highly capable but highly vulnerable animals. I'm writing this on my iPad when I wish I could be talking to teenagers everywhere face to face. I can't do that but can maybe reach them faster via online communication. How cool. How unfortunate.