Can't We All Just Get Along: My Thoughts On The Giant Fan That Was Attacked By Dodger Fans
As the Major League Baseball season is now well underway, I want to make something perfectly clear:
I am a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and have been for much of my life.
It was passed down from my grandparents, who as African Americans were fervent followers of the Dodgers due to the great Jackie Robinson breaking the color line; my grandma was particularly enamored with Roy Campanella.
The greatest sports broadcaster of all time, Vin Scully, is a significant reason why I remain loyal to Dodger Blue, despite their recent issues and shortcomings, including having not made a World Series appearance since 1988. I was gladly encouraged by them recently taking three out of the four games they had with the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants to open the season.
Having said that, what happened in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium after the team's 2-1 victory on Opening Day left me feeling nothing but shame and embarrassment of being a Dodger fan for the first time in a long while.
When I heard about Bryan Stow, a paramedic and a Giant fan from Santa Cruz, CA, getting assaulted by two thugs posing as Dodger fans, it left a sick feeling inside, and it also led to feelings of anger.
Having been to over 40 Dodger games in my lifetime, I had noticed that increasing numbers of "fans" have taken to acting like idiots and degenerates, not unlike Oakland Raider fans; getting belligerently drunk and smashed, arguing with opposing fans, and God if forbid such supporters are cheering for their team - that's really risking it there.
In recent years It had gotten to the point where I found myself thinking, "Things are getting crazy," as I walked out of the Dodger Stadium gates after a game, and I'll definitely no longer attend contests in which the opposing team is the Giants, the San Diego Padres or the Dodgers' crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Angels.
Those are teams with strong fan bases with relatively easy local access to Dodger games, and I fear that brawls may ensue.
Back to what happened after the first game: Stow was hurt by those thugs, I mean fans, so badly that he suffered a brain injury. He is currently in a medically induced coma at a local Los Angeles hospital, where it is not guaranteed that he will survive.
All for happening to be a fan of the opposing team and wearing such team's apparel at a sporting event - the clincher to all of this was the fact that Stow was minding his own business and not bothering or provoking anyone when the attack happened.
Some people may say that while this incident was tragic and most regrettable, there are bad fans on every team and the entire Dodger fan base shouldn't be judged by the actions of two thuggish idiots.
While I agree 100% with that sentiment, I also assert that incidents like this make fan bases look bad, which is something that the Dodgers, in this case, do NOT need.
It's my fervent hope that those two idiotic punks who assaulted Stow, and may have potentially killed him, are caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of law; send them a message by not only banning them from Dodger Stadium, and every other MLB park, for life, but also by giving them significant prison sentences.
Perhaps that would deter so-called "fans" from doing any harm to anyone at the ballpark, and also help them to realize that old adage:
"It's just a game!"
In the meantime, I don't know if this will help, but I would like to take the liberty to offer my sincere apologies to the Giants and their fan base for the horrific act that happened - please don't judge the Dodgers and their fans for the unforgivable sins of two low-lifes who call themselves Dodger fans.
And please know that no one wants to get along, or to see Stow recover from his injuries, more than I.