Violence in west coast stadiums has gotten out of hand. A man was beaten this weekend in the Dodgers parking lot after a minor accident turned into a brawl. Four suspects were arrested for holding down the man and beating him. He’s in stable condition and the injuries he sustained aren’t life threatening.
During last year’s opening game between the Dodgers and Giants, San Francisco fan Brian Stow was beaten viciously, and sustained brain damage. Stow’s incident brought light to the violence of sporting events on the west coast. After a 49ers preseason game last year, two men were shot. Perhaps it’s the proximity of the major sports franchises in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Whatever it may be, it’s giving a bad name and reputation to California’s franchises.
This was also bad timing for the Dodgers. Stow’s incident was well publicized, and Dodgers officials vowed to beef up security. Reports say that off-duty officers and security were on the scene of the most recent assault quickly, but it’s irrelevant in the public’s perception. A casual ESPN watcher sees that there was yet another violent incident in Dodgers stadium, that’s it!
Violence at sporting events has a long history, and it probably won’t stop any time soon, but it should. I understand as well as anybody that in the hectic, adrenaline-filled world of sports, testosterone courses through your veins until you feel superhuman. There’s a time and a place for pride-fueled brawls, but the ballpark should be comfortable for people not looking for a fight. Would you fight somebody outside of a movie theater because they disagreed with your opinion of the film? We allow violence in sports because sports are violent. However in reality, going to a game should be as domestic and subdued as a movie or dinner. There’s no amount of security that can prevent a spontaneous fight between opposing fans at a game. It’s up to us, the fans, to realize that by continuing to throw fists over petty rivalries we’re teaching a new generation to root for sports with physical altercations. That’s not what sports are meant to be, not in any generation.