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FANS BEHAVING BADLY

In Fandom, NFL, Soccer on October 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Trainers assist Matt Cassel during the second half of Sunday’s game. (AP)

By Charles Parrish

“It’s 100 percent sickening…I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to play football in that moment right there.”  These were the words of Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Eric Winston at a post game press conference following a loss to the Baltimore Ravens in week 5 of the National Football League.  Winston’s comments, however, did not reflect his or the Chiefs’ frustration at losing yet another game.  Rather, they were directed at the team’s own fans for what he described as “disgusting” behavior.  In the weeks leading up to the game Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel had increasingly come under fire for his poor play on the field. After committing 3 turnovers in a 9-6 loss to the Ravens, he had not delivered a performance to win over his critics.  In the game’s final quarter Cassel suffered a head injury (later ruled a concussion) and some Kansas City fans felt compelled to actually cheer their own quarterback’s inevitable departure from the game despite the seriousness of his condition. Columnist Eric Adelson reminds us this was not simply an isolated incident in sports.  But where exactly is the line sports fans are not supposed to cross when it comes to public ridicule of players, coaches, and referees (and those of us in the Washington DC area can add owners to that list)? Or has this line become a part of the “entertainment value” fans lay claim to when purchasing an admission ticket?

From a broader perspective the Matt Cassel incident may (unfortunately) be considered a minor issue in comparison to what spews out of fans’ mouths in the global sports arena.  With varying levels of success, FIFA and its member soccer associations have been trying to eliminate racially charged acts from stadiums for several years.  Read the rest of this entry »

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