Violence in Sports, Not the On-The-Field Variety

As I usually do, I was following my Twitter feed while watching the Pirates game. Towards the end of the game I saw a re-tweet from a friend, the tweet was from the wife of Mat Latos, a Cincinnati Reds player. She reported that Pirates fans had been harassing another player’s grandmother and she asked them to stop and they then called her a profanity and threatened her.

She then claims that this fan pulled her hair before punching her in the head three times!

WHAT THE HECK?

(If you’d like to read an article about it including her tweets (warning NSFW) you can click HERE.)

This is just the latest in a series of fan-on-fan violence. On opening day, 2011, a Giants fan was attacked at Dodger Stadium in an attack that left him brain damaged. Brian Stow finally returned home in June, more than two years after the attack but still requires home nursing care. (Story HERE)

Just last week, on September 26th, a Dodgers fan was fatally stabbed outside AT&T Park in San Francisco. (Story HERE).

It’s nothing new, in fact, I was a victim of this fan-on-fan violence. Back in 1997, Baseball Ross and I lived in Harrisburg, PA, and Amtrak ran a special “Eagles Train”. It left from Harrisburg and went to Philadelphia, stopping on the tracks next to Veterans Stadium. They put little stools below the steps and we walked across the parking lot.

It was TERRIFYING! We had to walk along the fence surrounding the parking lot. Most of those fans had been tailgating for hours and were very drunk. It was like running the gauntlet. Those that were wearing Redskins gear were taunted, harassed, spit on, and had food thrown at them! Even the children! It was horrible. I was glad to be wearing Eagles gear but it was just abysmal.

During the game (of which I really don’t remember much after the next incident) the Eagles got a touchdown and Washington took the kickoff and gained some yards. Then Gus Ferrotte threw for a first down, that was when I was assaulted. The woman next to me punched me in the arm screaming, “It doesn’t even matter!” (referring to the touchdown.)

Ross didn’t see her. We were in the middle of a section so there was no way for me to get out. I would have had to pass the woman to get out to get security and there was no way to get out the other direction or signal for security. So I hid under Ross’ arm and waited for the game to be over, waiting to get away from the crazed fan. That game was pandemonium. Later, after the Eagles win, people were throwing fireworks off the top of the stadium and we saw at least one fist fight. It wasn’t long before Judge Seamus McCafferty was given a court room at the stadium to adjudicate the cases generated by the rowdy crowd.

Why has it gotten to this? How has it gotten to this?

Is it because how things in society have changed, in regards to manners? I can remember as a child, getting dressed up to go to a Hershey Bears hockey game. My dad had season tickets for years and he used to wear dress pants, dress shirt, tie and a jacket to the games. Could it be the alcohol? Alcohol fueled a murder at Citizens Bank Park back in 2009. (You can read the story HERE) This was Phillies fan vs. Phillies fan over a spilled beer.

I can’t figure it out. I don’t know if I want to figure it out. I just want fans to be able to go to a game wearing their jerseys without fear of getting attacked by someone in a different colored jersey, is that too much to ask? I honestly don’t know what it is, but I really wish people would just take a step back, realize the other person is  PERSON who has just as much right to live their lives without interference from anyone else.

I guess everyone needs to realize that, not just sports fans.

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