LA Raiders v. San Francisco 49ers Game Ends in Violence

I know about sports fandom. It often borders on fanaticism. It's passion and a total blindness to logic that, when done properly, are fun as hell.

But it is never a reason or an excuse for violence. It's just not that deep. Someone doesn't like your team. Perhaps an argument occurs. Voices are raised. That's where it should end. But if it escalates to the point of violence it's not sport fandom. It's sheer thuggery.

Unfortunately, thuggery reared it's ugly head after the LA Raiders v. San Francisco preseason game on Saturday night. That's right--not even over a regular season game. Violence over a game that doesn't even count.

The toll when all was said and done were 2 people shot, 1 beaten, and 2 of the 3 victims in critical condition. Scenes from after the game were more reminiscent of a war zone than a sporting event.

The least seriously injured of the victims was a man in his 20s who suffered superficial facial injuries after being shot about 15 minutes after the end of the game.

A 24-year old man was shot 4 times in the stomach for wearing an "F*** the 49ers" t-shirt.

As if two shootings aren't enough insanity for one sporting event, another fan was beaten in a bathroom at the stadium and critically injured during the 4th quarter of the game.

Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland and Ed Lee, mayor of San Francisco issued a joint statement condemning the attacks.

"The incidents .... are completely unacceptable and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Fans come to our stadiums to enjoy an afternoon of football, not to be subjected to intimidation or violence. These games are family events, and the types of images we witnessed last night have no place in our arenas."

Events like those that took place in Oakland are not, unfortunately, uncommon in the world of sports. But why? Is it the combination of alcohol fused with fanatism? Unlikely. Alcohol merely exacerbates tendencies already inherent in an individual. Which leads me back to the thuggery theory.

As if it matters, the 49ers won the game 17-3.

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