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Searching for something positive to come from Giants fan's beating: A national call to end fan violence

So maybe I’m trying too hard. Maybe it’s one of those things where you want it to be so badly, you start to believe it can actually happen.

It’s hard to fight the thought of the savagely beaten Bryan Stow resting in his hospital bed, still in a medically induced coma and suffering brain damage. A 42-year-old father of two who wanted to take in the season opener of his world champion Giants, only to be beaten by a pair of thugs in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and left fighting for his life.

Difficult to find that positive light here, but just maybe Stow’s family pointed the way Tuesday in their emotional press conference at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

"We would like to use this as a rallying cry to stop unnecessary violence in our greatest pastime and all other sports, not only here but abroad,’’ said cousin John Stow, wearing a Giants cap and jersey. "So I ask for one last thing on behalf of Bryan — that we all enjoy a safe and competitive and exciting year of baseball.’’

Is it naïve to think Bryan Stow could prove a touchstone in turning around growing fan animosity? That from this tragedy a watershed moment could evolve?

Why not? Why not try to make it happen? Bryan Stow has become a national story. Why not try to make his tragedy a national movement?

It’s not like we have to all go back to the idealized ’50s. It wasn’t this way here in the ’90s. That hostility and unease you too often feel when entering Dodger Stadium. People could tease rival fans without concern. It was fun. It’s supposed to be fun.

"It’s just a baseball game,’’ said -- of all people -- Tommy Lasorda.

Stow’s family and friends have been magnanimous in their response to his beating.

Said sister Erin Collins to KCAL-9: "We don’t hold any of the people of Los Angeles responsible. We have no hard feelings toward you guys. We know it’s not the city as a whole, but just two people.

"Everyone here has been so kind and generous. Especially the Dodgers fans. We want them to go and root for their team and not let this mar how they feel about the game.’’

If his family can be this understanding, if they can step back and see a larger picture, can’t the rest of us?

"I would like to tell the Dodger fans, don’t be afraid to wear your Dodger colors in our town,’’ said John Stow to KCAL. "We love the rivalry. We welcome it and have always looked forward to it. We’ll keep it nice and civil and I expect our fans to show them a nice, safe, enjoyable time.’’

Stow’s beating has raised the national consciousness about the underlying hostility that is too often sensed at Dodger Stadium and other sports venues. And, just maybe, it has presented an opportunity to do something about it.

-- Steve Dilbeck

 
Comments () | Archives (23)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Good luck there at the stadium. There's no getting rid of the riff-raff when the owner's one of them.

John Stow is certainly a guy who "gets it" and has shared with the nation. We pray for Bryan, and those with him who were also attacked.

Stop the violence.

We should tell Tommy that his remark, "It's just a baseball game," is a slippery slope.

Next, we won't keep score. Then, we'll take logos off of uniforms.

At the seventh inning stretch, we'll sing, "Root, root, root for anyone at all, they don't win, it's just a game..."

Identifying with other people, respecting them, giving them space, living and let-live, who knows where this might lead?

Nonviolence? Peace in our time?

Minimally, the end of advertising and marketing?

This concept is much more dangerous than Dodger Stadium...

Sorry to be cynical (some might call it realistic) but the sports "Powers That Be" will wait for the media/political heat on this ugly incident to die down, then it will be business as usual.

The one thing that could really get their attention on the issue of violence at sports venues is their bottom line: fans voting with their feet & staying home from the games. Personally, at this point, we prefer to watch the Dodgers on tv from the safety of our own den.

Hostility in our society has been around long before the savage beating of Bryan Stow. The Bryan Stow tragedy has raised our consciousness about those willing to ignore this hostility for personal gain. It revealed the willingness of the Frank McCourt era Dodgers to ignore the threat of this hostility in favor of profits. Dodger Vice President Josh Rawitch has repeatedly promised “We're committed to having the most fan and family friendly environment in baseball and will continue to make that a top priority." Fans went to Dodger Stadium March 31, 2011 believing that. Rawitch’s promise turned out to be a lie. A lie that cost Bryan Stow a lot more than his ticket to the ballgame.

There is hostility at other sports venues throughout the world. At the moment let’s take action to control it at Dodger Stadium. And pray for Bryan’s full recovery.

This is a Cholo problem until you see rich white kids in Dodger jerseys threatening mexicans ..

Ask the Mexican Mayor how many of these thugs running around the stadim are there as part of his free ticket handout program?

This is what happens when you have a sanctuary city and outlaw legal firearms...

You can't take a cooler in or a waterbottle the security at the gate will confiscate them. But letting cholo's with shaved heads and tatoos is permissible? Don't want to profile right??

This is not a fan violence problem, it is a dirtbag gang problem.

LA is a mess. Bleeding hearts meet heinous scum gangbangers.

Petros & Money informed us yesterday that McCourt FIRED all of the old security force, and outsourced about HALF of our original number. THAT's what's wrong with MUCH of our economy at large. outsourcing may save a few bucks, but you lose the "family" aspect the employees USED to feel at large firms, Dodger Stadium now included. McCourt is a bad man, and I pray that Bud rights this ship & nixes Frankie's TV proposal. GO DODGERS! and go AWAY, Frank.

According to reports, these thugs had time to taunt the victim, chase him, run him down, beat him to the ground, kick him senseless, and flee... in a vehicle from an area with limited avenues of escape. WHERE WAS STADIUM SECURITY???

According to reports, these thugs had time to taunt the victim, chase him, run him down, beat him to the ground, kick him senseless, and flee... in a vehicle from an area with limited avenues of escape. WHERE WAS STADIUM SECURITY???

Posted by: Steve Carnine | 04/06/2011 at 10:54 AM


Stadium security is the same type. Minimum wage, no education. Cheap labor is the root cause of all of this.

Back in the 70's, 80's and 90's it was a blast to go to a Dodgers/Giants game and enjoy the rivalry. There was always a sense of fun at these games. Only over the past ten years or so has the rivalry turned bitter and nasty. If you are a true Dodgers fan and you say that you "hate" the Giants it doesn't mean that you truly hate them. True Dodgers fans idolize Jackie Robinson as much for breaking the color barrier as for being a true Dodger and retiring rather than accepting a trade to the Giants. That is the essence of the rivalry pure and simple, in my opinion.

Somewhere along the way the lines have been blurred in such a way that horrible, disgusting incidents occur, such as the one on opening day. The perpetrators of this cowardly act are not Dodgers fans and they and the people who did nothing to stop them are part of a society that is self centered and immoral.

McCourt throwing out reward money is nice, but how about a statement of solidarity and action from him that shows that he understands and cares about the concerns of a majority of those in attendance at the stadium. Nothing less is an absolute joke.

God bless Mr Stow and his family and may He bring him to full health and happiness.

Now wait a minute everyone. Rent-A-Cops don't grow on trees. They're $8.50-$9.00 an hour. Who's got THAT kind of money?

I am a little too close to this whole thing having been close with the Stow family here in Santa Cruz for years. Luckily they are a tight knit family and will get through this emotionaly but financially it is a different story. Any one in the Santa Cruz area Sunday should come down to the Rush Inn and get a dog and a beer to help raise money for the mounting medical costs and to help put up family members that have had to put their lives on hold in hotels in the L.A. area and will continue to due so indefinitely. There are also numerous small business' in the area doing similar things. Pizza My Heart has already raised several thousand $$ at several locations. I have encouraged John and his family to pursue litigation not only for the expenses but to help force the organizations hand in taking steps to prevent this from happening to any family again. Unfortunately the Stow family doesn't really operate that way but if anyone out there knows of any precedence that might sway them or a specific lawyer who has dealt with this type of thing please post it on Steve's blog and I will be sure to pass it along to the family.

Excellent post by "Champs 63" I'm 54 years old and have been a Dodger Fan since 1970. It was never like this before. Oh sure a couple of knucklehead fans may get in a fight now and then, but this is COMPLETLY different. Also regarding security, they could break up a fight between a few knuckleheads, but now they are going up against GANG members. A big difference here. Our city leaders need to get real, do something about the GANGS, it's really just that simple. Instead they talk about more security and some more hocus pocus idea's, but guess what??? We still have the gangs and thug problems. To the city leaders, get with it, we have had enough. The main problem is not the sport violence, it is the gangs and the thugs!!!!!

There is also a national call for McCrap to sell & get out of town. This will significantly help with securing the stadium.

do you know why they have that bumper sticker that admonishs us to "Teach Peace"?

Its because hate comes naturally to out species ...

Maybe Disney or Caruso should take over the Dodgers. They've figured out a way to keep the thugs out.

Maybe Disney of Caruso should take over the Dodgers. They've figured out how to keep the thugs out.

And where are the leaders of the Latino community denouncing this violence? With all of the publicity, it is a black eye to the community that no one has step forward and turned in these losers.

@Steve: Not there! I was in that parking lot, and there was no security ANYWHERE! Poorly lit, too....And it was no better Sunday night.

Let's see it for what it is.

How is this not a form of urban terrorism?

We are currently at two or is it three WARS?

We can not let any form of domestic urban terrorism be allowed to grow.

Sorry gangster, either you change, go to jail, or if needs be all the way out of the country. Don't come back or it will be a tent in the desert for you.

There is simply no excuse for allowing this to happen one day more.

The commissioner has to step and right the ship.

On the shaky financials alone, McCourt should relinquish the team to someone who has the financial wherewithal to fund a competitor for fun and profit.

Perhaps the time has come for finger print scanning at public events and airports.

With the right amount of staff to take perps into custody.

My guess is the staff required would dwindle quite fast.

I am hopeful that all baseball fans will heed this call. I absolutely believe that the awful people who did this were criminals and should not make up the national identity of a "Dodgers fan." But I think it's also important, as fans, that we be honest about the problems prevalent in many stadiums and stop with the disingenuous claims that fans are all positive, spirited, polite, and have not brought some negative associations. I don't go to games in my home stadium when the Dodgers are in town. Not because I don't feel safe, but because I feel disrespected as a fellow fan of baseball. Those games are usually more confrontational, have more swearing (despite the presence of children), and often have LA fans screaming "this is my town," in a place that is not, in fact, their town.

I also have noticed a rise in rude Giants fans as the team has increased its popularity. When they visited our home stadium this year, two women used the classless phrase "F*** your team" to my brother who was minding his own business. Several Giants fans randomly screamed about their World Series Championship in the ears of random fans from the home team because they were dissatisfied that they were losing. I also think, and I am not a Dodgers fan, that it was a classless move to spend money on that banner that flew over Dodgers stadium by that Giants fan. Why try to anger fans on their opening day?

These small incivilities don't lead to the shameful violence that occurred, but they do desensitize people to inappropriate behavior over time. And they make it okay to be rude and dismissive to others. There should be a difference between loving your team and enjoying a rivalry and being a jerk. Maybe it's time for all fans (Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, Red Sox, etc.) to own up to questionable behavior and stop the rudeness overall.


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