After Swedish prosecutors watched video of former Toronto Maple Leafs player Andre Deveaux viciously slash an opponent in pregame warm ups, they decided to file criminal charges and issued a warrant for his arrest. Which, for hockey fans, may have brought to mind an infamous incident in 2000 when Marty McSorley bashed Donald Brashear in the head with his stick (2:50 into the video), giving him a grade 3 concussion.
McSorley was charged with and found guilty of assault, only the second criminal trial for on-ice violence in a league that tacitly approves of players taking breaks from game play to punch each other in the face from time to time. Punching which, to date, has resulted in zero criminal convictions.
So when does playing a sport constitute a crime? And what kind of game behavior crosses the line from acceptable in a sporting contest to unacceptable in any context?