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Anti-social behaviors and attitudes among fans in sporting games

Updated on December 26, 2015

Overview

Often, various sporting teams have various supporters, fans or rather loyal spectators who are attached to the respective teams depending on their popularity and excellence. In the diverse sporting world, the various fans attached to the different sporting games have at times display relatively similar traits that describe crowd enthusiasm and identity. Certain characteristics such as aggressiveness, violence and conflicts among the different fans are meant to describe them in the best way possible. The different supporters often have significant role in the given sports. Some studies show that the different fans often have a certain degree of influence upon the outcomes of the respective games. While some of the anti-social traits demonstrated by the different fans may seem negative and wayward, it is important to take into consideration the source of such behaviors. Some of these behaviors may be as a result of the unconscious cognitive stimulus by the respective fans. Today, the topic of discussion has attracted a considerable attention from different sources and has been voiced out in different forms ranging from personal perspectives to scientific literature. This article addresses the anti-social behaviors and different measures to counter them.

Possible reasons for anti-socialism

Fanaticism

When a supporter abandons his work to join others in supporting their teams, often, the supporter builds a sense of “we”. During such times, the supporters have strong beliefs that their team is the best and must win or become successful at all cost. With an enormous sense of pride, regarding their teams, acts of hooliganism and marauding is often eminent. These kinds of hooliganism may sometime include planned/deliberate attacks on the opponents or rather random attacks. The aggression may take the form of either physical or verbal. Various studies show that verbal aggression is the most dominant form of hooliganism among sport fans.

Sense of belonging

Many people cite various reasons for sticking by their favorite teams. To establish a cause/reason, various studies suggest that the most dominant reason for choosing such teams is often dependent upon social connections. Many fans are supporters of the given teams due to the power of group affiliation to some of the salient local teams. Conventionally, this is meant to satisfy the social psychological well-being. To explain this more, certain studies show that an increased identification of a fan with a particular team means lower levels of loneliness, alienation and higher levels of collective self-esteem. Other cognitive responses may also explain such behaviors e.g. it is more likely that a fan seeing another fan putting on the team logo is more likely to elicit an instant connection with the player.

Prevention

Discouraging fans drug indulgence

Some of the fans anti-social behaviors are usually as a result of certain drug abuse and indulgence. In some cases, the indulgence in alcohol could be one of the reasons towards unruly behaviors in the stadia. To counter such vices, the relevant sporting authorities ought to consider formulating and implementing certain laws that bar the use of drugs before and after the respective games. Though the given policies may require some significant investment and expenditure, they may play a role or two in maintaining order in the stadia. Retailers should also consider the packaging of drinks in nylon packs for the purpose of safety.

Surveillance

The relevant sports authority should also consider placing cameras at strategic points to monitor different supporters’ behaviors. The cameras could be used by the surveillance team to identify and track hooliganism in a bid to curb down the increase of such cases. The identified individuals could be used to warn the likeminded individuals of the eminent consequences against behaving anti-socially.

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