The NFL has a problem with fan violence at its games, and it’s widespread around the league.
In the wake of a Baltimore Ravens fan being assaulted and put in critical condition at an Oakland Raiders game, the problem is even more prominent. The issue was highlighted by Kent Babb and Steven Rich of The Washington Post, who also took some quotes from prominent people in and around the NFL.
“If you are concerned about bringing your family to a game, then that is an issue,” said Amy Trask, a former executive with the Raiders who has served on the NFL’s security committee. “It’s not just an issue for one team, it’s an issue for all 32 teams. The teams know this. The league knows this.”
They also cite some pretty upsetting numbers. As many as 129 arrests have been made in a single week of NFL action. Last year, 6.34 arrests per game were reported league-wide during the regular season. Later games contained far more arrests than early games, and the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the shared stadium between the New York Jets and New York Giants account for the most arrests during the past five seasons.
The NFL’s former head of security from 2008 through this past year said he’d been in actual prison riots and implied that the atmosphere wasn’t quite as different as some would like to imagine. “I looked around and said: ‘We have got to change this environment,'” Jeffrey Miller said.
For the NFL’s part, they have done little other than institute new code of conduct rules and open up texting lines to report “bad behavior.” These changes have led to fewer incidents, it seems, but not nearly enough. It’s clear they’re not doing enough, and something needs to change.