Thursday, November 29, 2007

Halftime At The Jets Game

The New York Times reported on the behavior of NFL fans at Giants Stadium during a recent Jets game.

I attend soccer matches at Giants Stadium and I know that fans often congregate on the ramps of Gate D to smoke.

I did not know that during Jets games, fans congregate to sexually harass women. Of course, the average NFL fan would likely not see this as harassment, because they are just asking women to show their breasts. Well, they are yelling it and they are drunk. And if the women don't oblige they might be spat upon or have beer tossed at them. But, Joe Average NFL Fan probably wouldn't consider that harassment, now, would he?
When one woman appeared to be on the verge of obliging, the hooting and hollering intensified. But then she walked away, and plastic beer bottles and spit went flying. Boos swept through the crowd of unsatisfied men.

This is just fun, right. I mean, there's no harm meant, and no harm done. I mean, what's a little spit on your wife, sister, daughter or mother?

The sad thing is not the behavior of the men, which is reprehensible; but, the apologists within the security agency, the stadium management, and the New Jersey State Police.

Sgt. Stephen Jones of the State Police was interviewed for the Times article:
Our emphasis is certainly not general security," Jones said. "Something like you’re describing, the stairwell behavior, is a matter that the security would handle. Now if they come up with something where somebody needs to be arrested, the troops will go out there and effect that arrest."

I thought behavior described in the article would qualify as "something where somebody needs to be arrested. . . ." But, Sgt. Jones obviously wouldn't mind if it happened to his wife, sister, mother, or daughter. If spitting on a person, or throwing a beer bottle at a person, is not grounds for arrest, then what is?

The good Sargent's remarks were sought when Greg Aiello, an N.F.L. spokesman, said, he would defer any comment to law enforcement. Just like an NFL spokesman. Nothing is the NFL's fault or responsibility. Blame the taxpayers' police force and stadium authority. The NFL, of course, sees itself as absolved of responsibility. You see, nobody associated with the NFL: President, Chairman, Officer, Owner, Manager, Player, Lessor, Employee, or Fan is responsible for any of this. It's a "law enforcement issue" and somebody should do something about it, but not them, of course.

I'm not a Jets fan. Well, I was a Joe Namath fan as a boy in the 1960s, but I've never cared about the team. So it's easy to vilify the fans who are responsible for this behavior. They are animals. They probably treat their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers the same way.

Of course this wouldn't be a problem if the Times hadn't reported it, so we should probably blame the Times for this.

I would love to see an interview with one of the guys involved. I'd love to hear how this is rationalized. I'd like him to explain it in front of his wife, daughter, sister, and/or mother.

There is no way to justify this, and the police, the NFL, and the Jets should be ashamed of themselves for not taking action to stop it.

The problem is, you got to watch four or five hundred people sometimes in the one particular spiral," said Patrick C. Aramini, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority’s vice president for security. "What do we do, arrest everybody that starts chanting?"

Well, if they are chanting "show us your tits" to women and girls, then YES . . . that would be a good start; and it would probably put an end to the practice!

In case anyone at the New Jersey State Police has forgotten, it is illegal in New Jersey to ask a minor to participate in a sexual act. Chanting "show us your tits" to a girl under 18 is an actual crime.

If anyone from the New Jersey State Police is reading, just ask what you would do if it was your wife, daughter, sister or mother, that was being accosted in this manner. Then remember that you are paid to protect everyone's wife, daughter, sister, and mother!

Read the Times article here.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Gospel According to St. Matthew
Pier Paolo Passolini

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