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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Savage Fans to Blame for Bryan Stow Beating, Not Dodgers nor Alcohol

Giants fan Bryan Stow remains in a coma and in critical condition after being attacked by two savage Dodgers fans on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. The issue has blown up and sparked a heated reaction with the public, and a great deal of pressure has been put on the Dodgers to do something about the incident.

The team finally responded Wednesday announcing the hiring of former LA police chief William J. Bratton “to develop what the team called a “security blueprint” for Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots.” Pessimists might say the move is too little too late and argue that McCourt’s cheapness led to the problem (the team opened the year without a security chief for the first time), but to me that is unfair.

For one of the first times since Frank McCourt took over ownership of the organization, the negative publicity the team is receiving for a highly visible incident cannot be blamed on him.

People have a need for answers to hopeless questions like why did this happen. They look for reasons. The search for reasons leads to scapegoats. In this case, the scapegoat is an extremely easy target in Frank McCourt, but I won’t blame him nor the Dodgers for the issue.

The blame for the horrific story lies with the two goons who assaulted Stow (pictured at right) and ruined the enjoyment of what should have been a pleasant day at the stadium to watch baseball. We love sports and we love our teams, but supporting teams should never get to the point where you want to do physical harm to a supporter of another team. Furthermore, opposing fans should not have to fear for their safety and well-being when they choose to watch a game in an opponent’s park.

Security should be active and plentiful to enforce these notions, stepping in whenever necessary to ensure fans have a positive fan experience at the park. Alcohol is not to blame, nor is the team. No matter how you look at things, this is all on the two men who assaulted Stow in the parking lot.

This is also on their accomplices who drove them away from the stadium with full knowledge of what they had done. The reward is up to $101,000 for information on the incident, and it’s upsetting that nobody with direct knowledge of the perpetrators has stepped forward to help put these thugs in jail.

While one man lies in a hospital bed with his life in jeopardy, the real crime is that two criminals remain free. This is not an issue of alcohol or security, this is an issue of responsibility and decency. Clearly two specific fans were lacking that, and the person who drove them away is too. This is a horrible injustice, and if anything can be learned from it, it’s that some fans take sports, their teams, and rivalries entirely too seriously. All teams, despite desiring a rowdy fan base and homefield advantage, need to help police the atmosphere to make it safe for fans.

Hopefully these thugs are found and jailed to send a message that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated. It’s an awful tragedy and hopefully we won’t see anything like it in the future.

Photo Credit: Mercury News



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