Politic365

 
 


Sports

1:00pm August 30, 2011

Sports and Fan Violence? There Ought to Be a Law …

NFL Fans — violence triggers call for legislation in California

Fan.  Short for fanatic.  When you think about it, the level of dedication and love that people hold for their favorite sports franchises borders on insanity.

Sometimes, the rivalries bring actual hate between the fans of different teams.  Cowboys vs. Redskins.  Lakers vs. Celtics.  Just wearing the jersey of a visiting team in the home arena of another can get drinks poured on you or can lead to fighting, stabbing — sometimes even death.

This fanatical behavior is causing one California assemblyman to take action.  Over the past year, violence has erupted in both Los Angeles and San Francisco because fans were wearing the wrong jerseys.  Baseball fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten, leaving him with brain damage, because he wore a San Francisco Giants jersey on opening day to Dodger Stadium back in March.  Two men have been arrested for the beating, but in reality, it should have never gotten that far.

This past weekend, the violence shifted to football fans, as two people were shot in the parking lot and another beaten unconscious in the Candlestick Park bathroom during a preseason game between the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco Giants.

The violence was so bad that the two NFL franchises have decided to discontinue their preseason games in the future to avoid another bloody outcome.  NFL Chief of Security Jeff Miller, who created Commissioner Roger Goodell’s fan code of conduct, does a weekly audit of the fan conduct of all 32 teams and assigns a grade.  The 49ers’ grades have indicated that more attention is necessary.

Basketball fans are not immune either, as we all remember the brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons that spilled into the stands, with players (namely Ron Artest, now known as Meta World Peace) fighting with the fans.  As the players exited the court, fans threw drinks, cups and anything else they could get their hands on.  The ugly scene resulted in numerous suspensions and criminal charges.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat from Los Angeles, has seen enough. He hopes to introduce legislation to deter violence at sporting events. “There are many things worth fighting for,” Gatto said in a statement. “The fact that someone wore a rival sports franchise’s jersey to a game isn’t one of them.”

How do you deter violence at sporting events?  A lot of times, alcohol is the main cause of the boisterous behavior.  Some arenas have banned the sale of alcohol after the third quarter, but fans knowing this may load up and try to get as drunk as possible.  When the game ends and fans spill into the parking lot, you have a deadly combination with supporters of the winning and losing teams leaving through the same exits.

It’ll be interesting to see the legislation Assemblyman Gatto introduces.  It may include making it a felony for any behavior meant to intimidate another fans.  Increased security may also help in deterring fanatical behavior, especially during so-called “rivalry” games.

No matter what is done, no one should be afraid to attend a sporting event solely because of the team they cheer for.  Sports are meant to be family-friendly, not life-threatening.

Can something be done to bring the joy back to the game? Legislation may not be the solution, but Gatto wants to give it a try.



About the Author

Malik Shareef
Malik Shareef, Esq. is a senior sports writer with Politic365. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Washington and Lee School of Law, he now practices law in the Washington, DC area and is a certified contract advisor for the NFL. Malik's experience as a sports agent and attorney give him a unique perspective on law-related issues in sports and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @malikshareef.




 
 

 
7641430878_c118d7d6ce_b

California Senate approves bill to raise minimum wage to $13/hr

California is leading the charge to increase the minimum wage. This week the California Senate approved a bill that would lift the wage to $13 per hour by 2017. Melody Gutierrez of The San Francisco Chronicle writes: “The...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
178834396_4bc9ceaa06_b

California quakes put the focus on fracking

This month California was hit with two moderate sized earthquakes. On March 17 in West Los Angeles, a 4.4 quake hit, and then in La Habra, a 5.1 quake hit on March 28. Seismic activity is nothing new in California, which is hom...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
7555839462_5641ef77b6_z

For profit colleges under the spotlight again in California

A recent audit of the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, a California agency that oversees nonprofit and for profit educational institutions that provide career and technical training, shows that the bureau is failing ...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 

Advertisement
 
Lee reacts during the first day of the Demoncratic National Convention in Charlotte

Black Caucus: 3 Approps Members Set to Move Up After Retirements

In 2015: Fattah (9), Bishop (10), Lee (11). With today’s retirement announcement by Rep. Ed Pastor, three Black Caucus members are set to move up another step in seniority on the powerful House Appropriations Committee in...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
1

 
 
Ron Calderon

California State Senator Ron Calderon indicted for public corruption

On Friday, Calfornia State Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) was indicted on federal corruption charges. This comes after the FBI raided the office of California state Senator Calderon last June, making him the focus of a cor...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 




One Comment


  1. Jason

    "…during a preseason game between the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco Giants…"
    Should be San Francisco 49ers.

    Great article though, give Lil Sweetness my best!!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>