Monday, August 22, 2011

Is It Possible to Go to a Sporting Event in California Without Violence Erupting?

Earlier this summer a fan attending a game in Los Angeles was nearly beaten to death.
On Saturday at a preseason game between the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco Giants, a couple of fans were shot and another severely beaten (ESPN.com).

This has reportedly prompted the NFL to end the preseason match-up going forward.
Will this really end the violence?  Is it possible to go to a sporting event in California without violence erupting?

I’m not sure of the answer to the first question but families don’t expect to be shot at or nearly beaten to death for attending a sporting event.  Some of these instances are carried out by gang members who are at the games to incite violence.

I’m not sure if ending this series will solve anything.  The thugs who took part in this criminal activity will continue to go to games and seek out individuals to attack.
There’s not much you can do to stop it right now.

It will take a massive effort to weed out criminals and you’re never 100% sure your efforts will work.  People will need to give up some of their freedoms and major searches will need to be carried out.

You can envision being told to show-up at least three hours prior to game time to be searched.  Yes, every single person will need to be searched.  The NFL and other sport organizations would need to hire thousands of security personnel to monitor the games.

What’s at stake for the NFL and other leagues?  They should be concerned.  As an example, the NFL has marketed themselves as a family friendly sport and they rely on family’s to continue to buy tickets to their games.  If the NFL doesn’t do something to ensure the protection of its patrons, they stand to lose big time at the box office.

I know this might be a drastic measure but moving teams out of California might be needed to send the message that violence isn’t tolerated at sporting events.
The other measure should be to deny a team to relocate to California.

The two events this summer are examples of  what’s wrong with sports.  We are adopting the hooligan mentality of some English soccer fans.  I never thought I’d see the day when Americans started acting like barbarians at sporting events.

To answer my question, is it possible to attend a sporting event in California without violence erupting?  It sure is.  Many sporting events occur in California without major incidents occurring.  While I don’t think the two events mentioned above are one-time occurrences, the likelihood of being beaten or shot at is extremely rare.

I do think that the NFL and other sporting organizations need to have a game plan to address these issues.  I do think the NFL and MLB need to consider moving out of California if more incidents like this occur. 

2 comments:

  1. There are four NBA teams in CA, three NFL teams, five MLB teams, three NHL teams, pro soccer, woman's basketball, not to mention more than half a dozen NCAA schools with major sports programs, all totaling several hundred major sporting events in the state this calendar year, with two such documented incidents.

    Two is two too many, but it represents a tiny percentage of games where such senseless violence has occurred.

    I was at the Raider-Steeler game in the 1980s where a Steeler fan was severely beaten. After that, beer sales were greatly restricted, police patrols monitored alcohol usage around the Coliseum and parking areas and cops arrested those found in possession, and altercations among fans were significantly reduced.

    I attended almost every game played in LA during the 14-year existence of the LA Raiders, and fans were searched entering the stadium. I will always remember the time a buddy of mine was found to have an apple in his possession. He was told that was a dangerous weapon and could not be brought in, but if he had a knife, he could cut it up and take it in. Absolutely true story.

    With the right people doing the monitoring, sporting events can be safe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As usual you bring a breath of fresh air and reason to the site. I also think you know by now that I'm playing devils advocate and pushing buttons to my commentaries.

    I do believe we need better security and monitoring at sporting events.

    That story about your buddy is classic!

    ReplyDelete

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