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The Incident at Dodger Stadium

April 5, 2011

This comes a few days after it happened, but the comment sections at several articles got me pretty upset so I felt I’d use my corner of the internet to give my thoughts. The incident of course is well documented but for those unfamiliar with it from a Los Angeles Times article,

“[Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant] Rosenberg said the victim was one of three Giants fans who were attacked in the parking lot by the two unidentified men wearing Dodgers clothing. The apparently unprovoked attack occurred about 8:30 p.m. in Parking Lot 2 when two assailants approached three victims in Giants apparel.

The two men attacked the three victims, kicking and punching them and shouting expletives about the Giants as they delivered the blows, Rosenberg said.

The incident was witnessed by several fans, he said. The assailants fled as people tried to assist the injured man, he said. Police said the incident was captured on security-camera video, and witnesses have provided details about the assailants, including a distinctive tattoo.”

The victim, a paramedic father from Santa Cruz is now in a medically induced coma with doctors considering removal of parts of his brain due to swelling. This man’s only “crime” was going to a baseball game and cheering for the team he loved which happened to be the San Francisco Giants.

What is more appalling is the acceptance many fans have regarding this incident. From the moronic “oldnumero7″at NBCSports’ Hardball Talk:

“Not that anyone deserves to be beaten within an inch of his life, but visiting fans ought to watch their step at road games. You are guests in another team’s house–you’re going to get heckled. Deal with it, be good-natured, and don’t taunt home fans. I doubt the Giants fans who’ve been seriously abused at Dodger Stadium were completely innocent of escalating the situations.”

You aren’t guests in another team’s house. You are paying customers. Let’s put it even more bluntly, the dollars this gentleman from Santa Cruz spent at Dodger Stadium paid the salary of winning starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers did not invite him to Dodger Stadium, there is no stipulation you must be a Dodgers fan or even a fan of baseball to attend a baseball game at Dodger Stadium. If you pay, you have purchased the right to attend. If we are in America, and last I checked Chavez Ravine is still a part of America we have the right to hold any opinion we wish to hold and vocalize it, as is guaranteed by the first amendment of the Constitution. This person conveyed their opinion that they simply liked the San Francisco Giants, by presumably wearing Giants gear. If he said something as “inflammatory” as “beat L.A.” or god forbid, “Dodgers suck” that opinion would be protected under the first amendment. Furthermore, if a Dodgers fan decided to object and say “no the Giants are the ones who suck” that too is covered by that same Constitution. What isn’t covered by it is a callous and unprovoked physical attack, regardless of whether you are a Giants fan at Dodger Stadium, or a Red Sox fan in the Bronx or if you happen to find the one angry Royals fan in Kansas City upset you come in wearing a Mariners cap.

“Oldnumero7” is correct in saying you will be heckled, and that is fine. It comes with the territory, you hold a minority opinion in a majority crowd and that crowd will find ample cooperation in making your minority opinion be belittled. That’s fine, but if they chose to reply, with a “we are defending World Champions” it is hardly a cause for violence. It seems “Oldnumero7” feels that any defense of your own support of your team is somehow considered as provoking people to incite violence upon you and makes you not a victim but a co-conspirator. The fact is this is a baseball game, due to my geography I have long been an opposing team fan when I go to ballparks, I should not be beaten up for it even if I am able to survive the attack or even if it does not even cause minimal injuries. I should not have things thrown at me, curse words reigned down upon me. It is a sporting event. I am as passionate a fan as the next, but this crosses a line. And for all these people who somehow make it seem like they were “asking for it”, or because they weren’t muted in their support of them team it should be expected, you aren’t a true fan you are culpable for creating an environment where this sort of thing is tolerated and expected.

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