Take me out to the ball game.. Take me out to the crowd.. So, I can fight it?
It didn't take long into the 2012 baseball season for a video of fan violence to surface. The clip above shows fans brawling in the stands during the tail end of Monday night's Blue Jays-Red Sox game in Toronto. According to the YouTube description accompanying the video, the fight broke out during the ninth inning in the 500 level of Rogers Centre. Perhaps some Blue Jays fans were upset after watching the Sox rally in the final inning? Boston scored three runs to take a 4-2 lead (which would end up being the final score).
Unfortunately, this kind of fan violence has become all too common in recent years. By now most baseball fans know the story of Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was brutally beaten in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium at the opening day game last season. Stow's family told the Associated Press back in March that his condition has improved and he no longer needs constant medical care.
The Dodgers increased stadium security for this year's opening day against the Pittsburgh Pirates, including undercover officers wearing Pirates jerseys in the stadium. There were also uniformed officers on horses and in squad cars patrolling the area. Sgt. Mitzi Fierro said undercover cops wearing rival teams' jerseys will be at every game.
In response to fan violence, the NFL made some changes to its preseason schedule, eliminating the annual Bay Area rivalry game between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. Last year's game was overshadowed by several ugly incidents which included a beating in a restroom, a massive fight in the stands and two fans shot in the parking lot of Candlestick Park afterward.