OPINON: Rioting after sports games is ridiculous


Photo credit/ Sabrina Resuta

Opinion Editor Maddie Adams urges sports fans not to riot after the outcome of the Super Bowl.

I’ll preface this by saying that I am not a big sports fan, so take my perspective with a grain of salt. I do, however, understand that sports are incredibly culturally significant, but if your team loses, it’s really not that big of a deal. It certainly shouldn’t be upsetting enough that you destroy cities because of it.

The Philadelphia Eagles won the super bowl in 2018. That night, thousands of Eagles fans took to the streets in celebration, but what started off as peaceful, joyful gatherings of people quickly turned into a drunken, dangerous situation. Reporter Fabiola Cineas shared a tweet that night that showed people scaling the gates of Philadelphia’s City Hall. Not only did they attempt to climb over the gate, but they also brought a keg with them.

It was reported that people were fighting one another in the street, flipping over cars, mounting garbage trucks, and climbing traffic lights/lamp posts. Cars and storefronts were damaged and looted. It’s unclear how many people were injured, but this was obviously a dangerous situation, especially for people that were intoxicated.

All of this just because your favorite team won a championship?

This is not an isolated incident, nor is it strictly an American phenomenon.

In 2000, a stampede in Zimbabwe at a World Cup soccer match killed 12 people and resulted in police firing tear gas into a rowdy crowd.

In 2011, a riot ensued in Vancouver after the Vancouver Canucks lost a hockey game in the Stanley Cup final. 140 people were injured, 15 vehicles were set on fire, and store windows were smashed.

It’s ridiculous to think that grown adults can get that upset over a sporting event.

In an article for NPR, writer Linda Holmes debunks some of the common excuses for why people riot after a big game. In her opinion, there really aren’t any good reasons for someone to start a riot after a big game.

“The message is pretty clear: It’s not about the game; it’s about the fact that you… wanted to start a fire,” wrote Holmes.

Alcohol definitely plays a huge role in incidents where judgment is impaired, but there are plenty of instances where people typically get drunk and don’t end up burning cars or smashing windows. Take New Year’s Eve for example, thousands of people gather in Times Square to celebrate the start of a new year, but not once has it resulted in a mass riot.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good celebration! A block party, a parade, or a city gathering is a great way to bring people together and bond over a common, beloved interest.

But no matter what the outcome of Super Bowl LVII is, don’t smash stuff, don’t light things on fire, and do your best to keep yourself and others safe.

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