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Are Sporting Events Becoming Too Hostile?

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A rather alarming poll recently published in USA Today revealed that a whopping 59 percent of respondents felt that sports events had become too volatile for them to attend. Although they professed to be sports lovers, they preferred to watch the action on their television screens in the safety of their own homes. What has happened to the times when one could safely take their families to watch their favorite teams battle it out on the gridiron or on the basketball courts? Sadly, in a growing number of cases, the aggression shown on the field by men in their football jerseys or on the courts in their basketball uniforms pales in comparison to the brutality taking place on the sidelines or in the parking lots after the games by fans. With so much violence and bad behavior evident surrounding many recent games, it appears that the “good old days” are long gone.
Remember when we were shocked to hear reports on the nightly news of European fans being mauled and trampled at soccer games? Now, those reports seem more like everyday news and that is a very sad thing. Professional baseball games played in Los Angeles and football games played in Oakland have been the scenes of recent violence that have resulted in serious injury and bloodshed. Besides being a major turn-off and concern for adult fans, these occurrences are a horrible example for the young people in attendance.
This new reality is particularly unfortunate because it coincides with a time when there are so many problems facing the average American. Many people are struggling with tough issues such as losing jobs and losing homes and they long for the periods of “escape” that they used to be able to count on in the world of sports. It’s no wonder that there is so much nostalgia for by-gone times.