This past week New York Mets Outfielder Curtis Granderson confronted a fan who shoved him in the back right before Granderson was throwing the ball back to the infield. Granderson did not got physical with the fan but exchanged words with him. Just a few days before this Baltimore Orioles Adam Jones said that players should be allowed to cleat fans who run onto the field. There have been quite a few incidences in sports where fans have got out of control and caused some major problems.
When I think of these problems I think back to the saga at The Palace of Auburn Hills when the Pacers came to play the Pistons. It was the Pistons fans that egged on Ron Artest with a fan eventually throwing stuff on him. This led to one of the biggest fights between fans and athletes in sports. If you think that this was bad take a look for yourself. (Note this video was uploaded in 2009 but it explains what I am getting at)
The problem with athletes fighting back is they get punished. I truly believe if a fan gets physical with an athlete that the athlete should be able to fight back without any consequences. When fans buy tickets to sporting events it does not say that you are allowed to get involved with the game or put your hands on an athlete.
In WWE, there have been quite a few crazy incidences that have taken place between the pro wrestlers and the fans. The one I remember the most didn’t even take place during the event. It took place after the event was over. Chris Jericho was leaving the arena when fans got into his personal space. Here is a look of what happened.
The fact of the matter is Chris Jericho back then had every right to defend himself and protect himself from the fans. Shouldn’t every athlete have that right? Just because a fan pays money to come to an event does not give them the right to interfere with things and get physical with the athletes.
College universities have got it right over time. A lot of colleges are not allowing students and fans to rush the football field or basketball court after a game. There have been to many incidences where students and athletes have gotten hurt. I’ve seen it where coaches have gotten hurt as well. I think these colleges are taking the right steps to ensure the safety of everyone at the event.
Colleges are getting it right but how do the professionals get it right? A college crowd is a little easier to tame but what happens when have riots in Detroit, New York or another big sports town. I think there needs to be a little more security. I think heavier criminal charges need to be put in place if you interfere with a game or pick a fight with an athlete. I am not saying athletes are above everyone else but what if you were working in customer service and a popular athlete punched you in the face because they didn’t like your service? Is that appropriate for them to interfere with your work and does that give them the right to attack you? No it doesn’t. People forget that athletes are human beings too. As much as I don’t like some of them and I don’t agree with how much they get paid, but that does not give a fan the right to harm them or the game they are involved with. Athletes have lives, emotions and worries just like the rest of us.
So how do you feel about fan interference with games and athletes? Should athletes retaliate? These are questions that professional sports organizations need to answer. If Curtis Granderson would have hit the fan that shoved him in the back I wouldn’t have blamed him for doing so. The fan physically messed with him and interfered with the game. What else more needs to be said?