Sep 26, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) hits a single against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT

Los Angeles Dodgers Fan Murdered: A Commentary On Fan Violence


Sep 25, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) adjusts his helmet at first base during the fourth inning of the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT

 

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.

Sep 24, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants take photos with their phones as Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brian Wilson (not pictured) enters the game during the eighth inning at AT

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.

EVER.

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.”

 

 

 

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Fan Violence Los Angeles Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Pridenpoise

    What a terrible tragedy, not to play the blame game, but why is it whenever I read about these senseless murders, it seems to always have one common denominator, fans of the SF Giants. I am not saying all of their fans are Aholes but it would seem to me that some of them need to learn its a GAME.

  • Matt Miller

    That’s exactly it, it’s a game. It’s not too long before the term hooligans isn’t just used for soccer fans. Excellent commentary Derek