Sports can lead to joy, frustration and even sadness for most fans, but one thing they should not lead to is someone fighting for their life. Such has become the case with Baltimore Ravens fan Joseph Bauer, who is currently on life support with a 30 percent chance of survival after getting into a fight with a group of Oakland Raiders fans. Two men were arrested, but authorities are still investigating how the fight started.
This is just the latest incident in which someone has been hurt at a sporting event. While we should always be concerned when a fight breaks out at a game and someone gets hurt, we should also be equally concerned when people get hit with foul balls or fall over a guard rail. There are far too many examples of fans getting hurt at sporting events for someone not to take this issue more seriously.
Less than a month ago, two parents in Rochester, Penn. got into a fight at a youth football game which culminated with one of the parents pulling out a gun. Thankfully, no one was injured and the person who pulled out the gun was apprehended. Yet, imagine what would have happened if the perpetrator had pulled the trigger. There was likely no one at the game that would have been able to keep him from doing so. People could have been killed because a man was allowed to bring his gun to a recreational football game.
Back in July, a female fan was hit in the head by a foul ball during a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Nationals. Two months later, another fan got hit square in the face during a game between the Miami Marlins and the Cleveland Indians. In both instances, the fans had to leave the game and be taken to a nearby medical center to receive help.
When you go to a sporting event, you’re trying to put some of your daily worries at ease. In the case of the aforementioned fans, they had to deal with severe pain and the concerns of paying medical bills instead. While MLB has added more netting to protect fans from foul balls, it is obvious that not enough is being done for all sporting fans. A night out at a sporting event should never end with an innocent person’s life being put in danger.
While people cannot be safe from all the dangers presented at a sporting event, it is reasonable for stadiums to take the necessary steps to alleviate some of these possible dangers. People should feel safe when going to have a fun time at a sporting event. How many more times are we going to have to hear about someone being hurt at a sporting event before we insist on stricter action to ensure that this issue is at least dissolved considerably? It seems that, just like with every other issue in this country, all we can do is hear more news about the problem while continuing to stall finding a solution.
Although it may not seem like a major problem, public safety should always be an urgent priority to those who serve the American public. Baseball stadiums should have netting all around the baseball arenas to keep baseballs from hitting any patrons. There should be security guards posted throughout stadiums to keep any fights from breaking out. There should be protective barriers in the upper deck and bottom areas of certain sporting arenas to keep people from falling and ending up in the emergency room.
This may seem overbearing at face value but looking at the reality, too many fans have died or have been injured for enjoying themselves at a sporting event. Some drastic changes are a necessity.