A bunch of people get together on a Saturday night. They drink beer. They drink more beer. At last call, wanting to keep the buzz going, they order two more beers – and guzzle them. Somebody looks at somebody else sideways and a fight breaks out. And so it goes at the local pub?
Yes, but so it also goes at the local baseball diamond, etc. "I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out!"
Now, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-L.A.) wants to establish a new law that would beef up penalties for fan misbehavior at sporting events. It would also fund a reward-based program to encourage fans to report other fans. Here's why I think this is a misguided idea:
- Ever heard of Crime Stoppers, et al? Mechanisms already exist for reporting crimes.
- Why is this venue singled out? Because it's on the news?
A more reasonable approach, among others, is the method adopted by some teams that enables fans to text information about incidents directly to security personnel.
The minute one introduces pay-for-play to the mix, the potential for abuse increases.
Heck…next you'll tell me they're gonna pay kids to go to school!