What has gotten into people? Last week a 42-year-old San Francisco Giants fan had to be put into a medically induced coma after he was beaten from behind by two Los Angeles Dodgers fans in the parking lot of Dodgers Stadium. The Dodgers had just beaten the Giants, and apparently these two thugs felt—in the presence of a 10-year-old child!—the need to celebrate by attacking an opposing fan. The man hit his head on the concrete, lost consciousness, and is now fighting for his life. Some game, huh?
Hurling taunts and verbally abusing the other teams’ fans seems to be the norm at many sporting events these days. In England, the “away” team’s fans are separated from others by a protective barrier of security guards. I’m all for competition, but somewhere along the line we’ve gone from being avid supporters to rabid fans baying for blood. It’s ugly and unacceptable.
If you are celebrating your favorite team, whether in a bar or at the stadium, resist the urge to bad-mouth the other team, name-call, or rub a victory in other people’s faces. If your team loses, don’t take it out on others. Shouting down another fan or beating them up isn’t going to magically improve your team’s record. It’s going to end with someone in the hospital and someone in jail. Curbing your alcohol intake during sporting events can also help keep the calm. We’re more likely to get riled up when we’ve had too much to drink. Also, use common sense. If you support one team, you probably shouldn’t sit near a pack of wild fans for the opposing team. Why fuel the fire?
Let’s bring back a little civility to sports!