Kobe Bryant recently made comments about how fans shouldn't vote for him to go play in the All-Star game and should vote for the wave of young and talented kids that are going to be the next stars of the NBA (and of course fans voted for Kobe to start in the All-Star game even though he's been hurt for the majority of this season). But what I truly do agree with Kobe on is that he said that the NBA is soft compared to when he broke into the league in 1997, when what would be flagrant fouls now was just a normal foul back then. When Charles Oakley and them boys were in the league defense was played much more roughly with the paint being a playground of bruises and rough housing. Hand fouls (when a shooter is shooting the ball and gets contact on either of his hands) were nonexistent and that's one of the more popular fouls that's called in today's NBA.
But I'm going to go further than Kobe did and say that ALL sports have been softened since the rough and tumble 80's and 90's. When I started to watch sports (especially football) violence was at an all time high. Going over the middle in football wasn't for the weak. Wide receivers would get hit right when the ball got to them whether they were ready for it or not and that was entertainment. All of which is now borderline against the rules if not completely banned all together. Most of the time while I'm now watching a football game the statement "That's a flag?" is repeated several times. It isn't only football and basketball that's being affected by the softening of sports. In baseball there's a now a proposed rule change where catchers are now being told that they can't protect home plate because of the collisions between runners and said catchers. Next thing you know scoring in basketball games is going to average over 100 points per game and football players are going to be playing with flags attached to their hips.