After a provocative throwaway comment from famous NFL player Ray Lewis, two researchers from UC Berkeley ran through crime statistics over a decade-long period from Chicago and found that crime rates (especially violence and drug-related crimes) were notably lower during times when NFL, NBA, and MLB games involving Chicago teams were on TV. The research seems to point strongly to the conclusion that this drop was because potential offenders were in fact too interested in watching their sports teams to participate in anti social behavior. Similar to the “midnight basketball league” experiment, these results seem to indicate that, short of even playing sports, just watching them on TV can help combat crime. These findings could provide incentives for cities to not only encourage local professional sporting organizations, but to perhaps organize some kind of public viewings or other events that allow young men interested in sports to gather and form connections based on activities more “wholesome” than drug use or gang membership.

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