Competitive nature of sports should not lead to violence. When speaking of sports event into consideration, there is no doubt that the accumulation of yelling, shouting, frustration, and joy on people’s faces paint an exact image of spectators on the stands supporting their favorite team. Fans pack stadiums to express admiration and passion for the game; mostly, people bring their friends and family to create memories.
Sadly, what should be a decent image of fans enjoying themselves has become tarnished lately with news of violence erupting in the stands, in parking lots, and on the field. Attending a sports event should not make fans fearful of supporters of opposing teams. Furthermore, athletes and coaches should regard themselves as role models and display leadership skills to limit or avoid shouting obscenities at players and supporters.
At the start of the baseball season, Dodger Stadium was scrutinized for the lack of adequate security, following an attack on a San Francisco Giants fan by two men wearing Dodgers attire. According to the L.A. Times, the victim continues to be hospitalized as he slowly attempts to come out of a medically-induced coma.
Rowdy fans are not the only ones to blame when it comes to violence in sports arenas. Athletes have a responsibility to maintain a competitive spirit throughout a game; however, when offensive words and threats are mentioned on the court, field, or ring, who is maintaining the peace if the “role models” are not setting a good example?
One of the most admired players on the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant, was recently fined for an outburst toward a referee. Bryant yelled a gay slur at the referee after receiving a technical foul. His tantrum was witnessed by viewers watching the game on television.
“Our society sets up athletes as heroes and they are not. They are human and subject to frailty,” said PCC baseball coach Evan O’Meara. “But my guys sign a code of conduct and if it is not followed, they are disciplined accordingly.”
As these unfortunate situations continue to occur in the world of sports, fans and athletes need to learn that watching a sports event is meant to be a positive, memorable experience. A collaborative effort is required, along with tighter security at all venues and increased penalties
or suspension for offending athletes of all sports. Regardless of which team wins, every individual present at a game is responsible for his or her actions.
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