Did we not learn anything from the Brian Stow beating?
Over the weekend, the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park for their annual preseason matchup. The 49ers beat the Raiders 17-3. But the game was far from the story.
When the game ended, two 49ers fans were shot outside the stadium. One of those shooting victims was shot in the stomach and got out of his vehicle to seek help from stadium security. The other victim is in critical condition. A third victim was beaten unconscious inside a bathroom with severe head trauma. Police believe the shooting suspect was a Raiders fan.
Sadly I can’t say with all honesty that I am anywhere near surprised that something like this happened at this game. Seven years ago I went to this same matchup at this same stadium and saw the same images you probably saw at home. Fans of both teams were fighting each other anywhere possible. In the stands, in line for concessions, in bathrooms, in the parking lot. It kinda surprised me then,but it doesn’t now. I had a feeling that one of these days when these two teams met that violence would somehow escalate to this level.
I know that alcohol was more than likely involed in this, but whether or drunk or sober, you’re responsible for the actions you take. It’s that plain and simple and never forget that.
Look I get it,it’s a crossbay rivalry, but why in the hell is anyone fighting each other in an exhibition game? Let me repeat that, it’s an exhibition game. A game that counts for exactly nothing. I’m not saying they should fight in the regular season, that’s silly. It just makes me angry that fans would even fight each other over a match-up containing players who may or may not be on those teams, or playing football altogether, by the end of this month.
I’ll ask the question I posed at the top again: Did we not learn anything from the Brian Stow beating? Do we not know how long it has taken for this man (and his family for that matter) to recover? Now two, possibly three, families are now facing the same fate as Stow’s family. All the medical bills, all the worry,pain and suffering over if these fans will even survive what they went through following a game that doesn’t even count in the record books.
Isn’t going to a game supposed to be enjoyable? I always thought so. I love going to games, and so should you. What you shouldn’t have to do is worry about if someone’s going to follow you out to your car and harm you no matter what team you are rooting for. Period.
What is the solution to all this? It’s hard to say but I hope that something can be done to protect all fans so that things like this don’t happen again. In closing, I’d just like to say that any adult who fights another adult over a stupid football game should truly be ashamed of themselves and if they were some of the people on TV fighting, I hope they’re embarrassed by what they see.