THE ABOVE VIDEO CONTAINS VIOLENT IMAGES
We try to keep things as football centric as we can on this blog but today I was sent the above video that really got me thinking about the fan experience at games and what has happened to it?
Violence and obscene behavior at sporting events have become a serious issues that are corrupting the average fans experience at games. It seems rare to attend a game now for any professional sport, in any city, and not see a fight or some type of neanderthal behavior from fellow spectators. Generally it is just a few idiots ruining it for the masses, but it has become so bad that parents have to begin questioning even taking their son or daughter to see a game.
I personally have witnessed grown men yell remarks at a child because they were supporting a different team and have had fellow fans threaten me with violence because I wasn’t wearing the perceived proper jersey. This type of behavior is insane and it is ruining the fan experience.
We all saw what happened in Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Bruins last June. Violence and riots broke out that caused serious damage to one of the most beautiful cities in the world and brought on severe injuries to a number of people- most of whom were just trying to get home and were not involved with what was happening around them. As a Canadian I was completely embarrassed by what happened in Vancouver, but as a human being I had hoped that it would be a lesson learned moving forward. Clearly I was wrong.
In August of this year in an exhibition game between the 49ers and the Raiders, hostility between two groups of fans became so intense that it resulted in a man being badly beaten in a bathroom and two men getting shot in the parking lot. This should not happen anywhere let alone a sporting event that’s sole purpose is for entertainment. No one should walk into a stadium and feel that there well being is at stake under any circumstance.
Today I was sent a video (posted above but taken from barstoolsports.com) that shows a group of Philadelphia Flyers fans beating on two New York Rangers fans after the Winter Classic last Monday. The only thing I could think of when watching this video is when will people learn? I have heard that “obviously they were drunk and werent thinking”, but to me there is absolutely no excuse for this type of behviour. I don’t care if you are drunk, high, or just mad about the game. There is absolutely no excuse. What if I was standing in line with my son after the game and he had to witness that? Or even worse, what if one of these idiots attacked me in front of my son because we were wearing Rangers jerseys?
It is time for this crap to get cleaned up and it should start with the law handing out stiff punishments to anyone who crosses the line at public events. Just because you pay good money to attend a game doesn’t give you the right to act anyway you want. It is okay to have friendly banter with fellow fans, that is part of the game; What’s not part of the game however is when banter crosses the line and becomes violent or ignorant. Everyone should be able to leave the stadium and go back to their regular lives when the game ends. We all have to go get up and go to work the next day and we shouldn’t have to do that with a black eye, broken bone, or worse. And most of all people need to remember that stadiums aren’t bars filled with people over the age of twenty one, there are kids everywhere and they don’t need to hear you obnoxiously swearing at players or fans.