Sports fans take competition too far

Brandon Gilden, Staff Writer

It may not seem like a big deal when you hear it, but sports are starting to be taken more and more seriously by both the athletes and the fans where death has even been an instance.

It doesn’t matter which sport is being talked about, because there’s at least one example of fans taking the game too far in most of the sports.

National Football League Hall of Famer for the Dallas Cowboys, Michael Irvin, had to undergo season-ending back surgery. Dallas fans took this harshly, while fans of the rival team, Philadelphia Eagles, rejoiced.

When a player has to undergo surgery that ends your career, that isn’t anything to laugh about, but that’s what these fans did. Irvin was one of the greatest players at his position, wide receiver, and the Eagles fans showed no respect.

When it comes to baseball, it now seems clear that the biggest of fans will do anything to catch a foul ball. In 2011 of the Major League Baseball regular season, a Los Angeles Dodgers fan saw a ball come right his way. He decided that catching the ball was more important than holding his child, so he dropped his kid to attempt to catch the baseball… He didn’t catch it.

After this happened, all the fans around him just stared. Security even came over and talked to him about what occurred. Catching a foul ball should never be more important than the safety of your child. If you really want a game used baseball, most stadiums will sell them for a reasonable price.

As for basketball, the most notable fan-athlete encounter happened in November of 2004 when a Detroit Pistons fan, John Green, intentionally tossed his drink at basketball player, Ron Artest. Artest, who was on the Indiana Pacers at the time, ran into the crowd soon after and started beating the fan. More fans and players got involved as the infamous brawl progressed. It ended with the game being called off.

I believe this was the most disrespectful thing a fan could do. Even worse, the player reacted in such an unprofessional way. Being a professional athlete, one should expect fans to do unimaginable acts, like even tossing a beer at you. The best thing to do is just let the league take care of it. Pride is a big thing for Ron Artest, but his pride cost him nearly five million dollars. He was suspended for the rest of the season (86 games).

In hockey a riot occurred after the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals when the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks. Fans were disgusted with the team’s loss and took their anger out in the streets. There were a total of 140 injuries, 117 arrests, four stabbings and nine officers injured.

This is the best example of fans taking a game farther than they should. Understandably, the fans may be upset because their team is now 0-3 in title games but that’s nothing to riot about. They’ve made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals three times, so they can make it again. When one takes their aggression out on an officer, they should endure the harshest punishment. The police are trying to do their job. Let them do it.

Lastly, and probably the most disturbing, happened in 2013 with soccer. Believe it or not, a referee stabbed and killed soccer player Josenir Abreu. Abreu was tossed from the game and went up to the referee and started to fight him. The referee took out a knife and it goes from there. Soon after, the family of Abreu came out and stoned the referee to death.

Death should be the final straw in professional sports and something should be done about it. Fans should still be allowed to enjoy games at a stadium, but the security checks have to be more detailed. Maybe fans are being checked well, but the players and referees should have to go through the same procedure. Sports are a part of everyone lives in one way or another and should be enjoyed to the fullest extent. However, safety of the game should always be a priority.