LOS ANGELES, September 26, 2013 — According to the Associated Press, last night after the Los Angeles Dodgers lost a meaningless game to the San Francisco Giants, a Dodger fan, Jonathan Denver, was stabbed and killed near AT&T Park in San Francisco. The AP is reporting that two arrests have been made in connection with the killing.
Jonathan Denver, 24, went to the Dodgers – Giants game wearing Dodgers gear with his brother and father. They left the game to go to a bar where they got in an argument with two Giants fans. The Giants fans were not actually at the game, but the fight sprang from an argument about the Dodgers and Giants.
This is not the first time fan violence has marred the greatest rivalry in sports. The first violence occurred in 2003 when Marc Antenorcruz, a Giants fan living in southern California, was shot and killed by a Dodger fan in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium during a game. The violence was unknown to fans inside the game, but a police helicopter was visible searching the parking lot while the game was still going. A fight that broke out in the stands led the two parties to be ejected from the game, only to finish in the parking lot.
In 2011, after the game on opening day in Los Angeles, a Giants fan, Bryan Stow, was severely beaten by Dodgers fans and left in a coma for weeks. Two years after Stow suffered severe brain trauma, he is still trying to recover from those injuries. According to a USA Today article, Doctors have told his family that Bryan Stow will never fully recover. The life he knew is forever gone.
Three lives all wasted because of a game, a game that is based on the English children’s game, Rounders. Three lives have been taken because of violent fans arguing over a game. Three fans have lost their lives because they were unable to leave their disagreements in the stadium.
Three lives have been lost because violent fans somehow forgot that we are all human beings, first. Three lives have been lost because of fans who defend teams that are loaded with players who come from different cities and probably have no feeling towards this San Francisco – Los Angeles rivalry.
There used to be a day when players were raised in the minor leagues to hate the rival and a player would rather retire than play for their rival. Those days are gone. With free agency and a lively trade market, it is rare to see players like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera play out their careers with the same team.
Players, today, will be just as happy playing for whichever team wants to pay them the most as they would playing for the team the grew up watching. Players often fraternize outside of games with players from other teams, including their rivals. These kids playing the game are able to detach themselves from the game and carry on in the real world as normal humans.
It is the fans who cannot let go, yet it is the fans that need to let go.
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