Fan Behavior: Rise In Fan Violence, How Can We Stop This?

Fan violence and antisocial behavior in stadiums is trending upward, and not just throughout the sporting world, rather throughout the internet and social media. 

Is the problem evolving as of late, or is the problem human nature itself?

Fights, storming the field or pitch, and other forms of fan violence have broken out recently.

This has been seen during the EURO 2020 in London, and in the NFL, MLS, and the NBA.

Punches were thrown at a recent Steelers game, at Petco Park, a Rams vs. Chargers matchup, and more. 

Violence among fans is not the only thing that is happening, online trolling and throwing things at players are becoming common.

Online threats, taunts, disparaging comments, and racist language directed at players online have been happening as well.

Per Daily Mail, during a recent soccer (football) match between Hungary and England, English player Raheem Sterling was pelted with cups used by infuriated Hungarian fans. 

The violence occurred shortly after Sterling removed his kit to pay tribute to a friend who had recently passed.

Though This Behavior Is Not New, What Else Has Happened?

Per New York Magazine, as of late, fans have spit on players, thrown water bottles, dumped their popcorn boxes on players, and more.

It is impossible to predict when a person will snap and start punching or throw their empty bottle at a player. 

When attacks happen on the field, they go viral on social media encouraging others to engage in this behavior. 

Is FAN VIOLENCE Preventable?

After what the Washington Post newspaper describes as “barbaric behavior” at a Washington Wizards game.

Spectators ran on the court, Coach Scott Brooks urged these fans to stay home and not ruin the game for other attendees and players as well. 

Banning these fans and keeping those who turn the arenas into “a human zoo”, according to Kyrie Irving, is imperative.  

The trend in this behavior at sports and entertainment events reminds us how important providing attentive and plentiful security is. 

Planners, event managers, venue operators, and security personnel should also consider the role of alcohol sales. 

Social media plays a large role in this as well. Seeing fans get in fights or hurt your favorite player can be powerful.

Then, stoking the passions of supporters and foes alike. 

The prevalence of this violence is at an all-time high.

Handling this behavior at events is as difficult as deploying trained people and technology to prevent these acts of fan violence. 

The pandemic has created a shortage of experienced workers, supervisors, and managers.

People with little to no experience requires planners, event managers, and event staffing companies to prepare their teams and staff for possible outbreaks of violence. 

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