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Bench-clearing brawl at the 1987 World Junior Hockey Championships
In a powerful speech delivered today at the Rotary Club of Kingston Simon Darnell, a renowned sports researcher, highlighted the important role that sports can play in promoting peace and justice around the world.

Darnell began his speech by emphasizing the transformative power of sports, explaining how it can bring people from diverse backgrounds together and unite them towards a common goal. He went on to discuss how sports can be used as a tool to address social issues and promote positive change.

Darnell spoke about the many examples of how sports have been used to promote peace and justice, citing the 1995 Rugby World Cup held in South Africa, which helped to bring the country together after years of apartheid. He also talked about the role of sports in promoting gender equality, pointing to the success of women's soccer in the United States as an example of how sports can empower women and promote gender equity.

Darnell emphasized that while sports can be a powerful tool for positive change, they are not a panacea. He provided examples of how a soccer match in 1969 lead to a 100 hour war between El Salvador and Honduras, and another game in 1990 help precipitate the violent breakup of Yugoslavia.

He acknowledged that there are still many challenges that need to be addressed, such as corruption and inequality in sports organizations, and called on the sports community to work together to address these issues.

In conclusion, Darnell urged the sports community to use its collective power to promote peace and justice around the world. "Sports have the ability to transcend borders, cultures, and languages," he said. "Let us use this power to create a world that is more just, peaceful, and equitable for all."
Simon Darnell, is an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Sport Policy Studies in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto research focuses on the relationship between sport and international development and peace building efforts, the development implications of sports mega-events, and the place of social activism in the culture of sport.