First Bryan Stow, now this.
I’m sure that by now everyone has heard the (once again) tragic news of fan violence rearing its ugly head in the form of 24-year-old Jonathan Denver – who was not only a Dodger fan but the son of a Dodger Stadium security guard – being stabbed and killed in San Francisco after a Dodgers-Giants game on Wednesday night.
Denver was wearing Dodger gear when he ran into Giant fans by a bar near AT&T Park. Insults were thrown, things escalated, and a few minutes later Denver was dying at a San Francisco hospital.
“Words are not enough to describe our sadness,” the Dodgers said in a statement.
“”Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” the Giants organization said.
This madness happened two years after Stow was attacked in a Dodger Stadium parking lot and suffered brain injuries that he’s still struggling with.
Which leaves me asking this question:
“Is hating another team really worth killing someone?”
Of course, 99.9% of Dodgers and Giants fans would say absolutely not.
But it’s that 0.1% that is alarming. And it only takes one person, one incident, for things to get out of control.
Not that the Dodger-Giant rivalry hasn’t had a history of fans – and players – going too far, dating back to the days when both teams were based in New York City, the worst incident between the players happening in 1965 at Candlestick Park, when Giants pitcher Juan Marichal attacked Dodger catcher Johnny Roseboro with a bat and triggered an all-out brawl worthy of a WWE Smackdown event.
A Giants fan was shot and killed outside Dodger Stadium in 2003, with the Stow episode happening eight years later.
All of this leaves me with one particular thought:
“When is it going to stop?”
About a week after the Stow incident, the Dodgers and the Giants gathered together on the field at AT&T Park before a game and addressed the fans, talking about how even though it is an intense rivalry, it’s never worth anyone getting hurt.
Then-Dodger Jamey Carroll put it best when he stated,
“What happens on the field, stays on the field.”
I suppose there’s at least one knuckleheaded fan out there that sees this murder as karma for what happened to Stow; a “What goes around, comes around” thing.
To anyone who may be thinking that, I say shame on you. You should be banned from all sporting events for that warped opinion.
Because NO rivalry – not the Dodgers and Giants, the Yankees and Red Sox, Alabama and Auburn, UCLA and USC, or any other rivalry – is worth someone dying over.
It would certainly be wonderful if everyone, without exception, heeded Carroll’s declaration of whatever happens on the field staying on the field.
Perhaps now, with Denver tragically gone, fans who may be inclined to go too far when it comes to an archrival team they hate will stop and do a little thinking before they say or do anything they will sorely regret.
Unlike the guy who plunged the knife into Denver.
In the meantime, my complete sympathies are with Denver’s family; that should go without saying.
And I would like to end with a quote that a wise man once said:
“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”