No need to rehash all the stereotypes that accompany the Oakland Raiders and fan violence. As if Oakland cornered the market on unruly behavior amongst fans it’s amazing how quick the public is to overlook the facts of individual situations.
One such situation that rekindled the discussion of Raider fans and violence occurred last year when ugly scenes unfolded at the now defunct Battle of the Bay. One year later the legal fallout has begun.
A man beaten unconscious and a friend that was shot while trying to help have filed suit against the 49ers, the NFL and Candlestick Park security. The suit, filed by two 49er fans, alleges that the team failed to “proactively create an environment that was free from fighting”.
We already know where this one is heading. The league would rather pay hush money than see this go to litigation. We also know the ultimate blame will fall in the laps of Raider Nation. Never mind the fact that some of the victims that day were Raider fans themselves and never mind the fact that this occurred in San Francisco where there is also a history of fan violence.
As recently as last week another parking lot shooting occurred after the Raiders-Cardinals game in Arizona. Everyone was quick to bust out the Jump to Conclusions Mat just knowing it was Raider Fan going Raider Fan. Of course once the facts came out and it was revealed that the victim was wearing silver and black the tone of the entire story changed as evident by PFT’s post on the news which has the attention grabbing headline of “Shooting Victim Was A Raiders Fan”.
When news emerged of a shooting outside the University of Phoenix stadium during the preseason game between the Raiders and Cardinals, many assumed that the shooter was a Raiders fan.
They assumed incorrectly.
As a lifelong Raider fan I know all too well that there are plenty of reasons to find some truth in the stereotypes that follow our beloved fan base. I also know that there is no shortage of similar incidents occurring all over the globe let alone the NFL. It just so happens that the Nation gets singled out most often.
So with a trial date set for a year from now it will be interesting to see how this process plays out. It has been all too easy for the NFL to scapegoat the Raiders for acts of violence, passing off incidents as isolated in one corner of the country. However if this does make it to trial there is no doubt even more incidents will be revealed showing just how poorly the league has passed the buck on fan violence.