I’m not in a gang but I know enough to you know where not to wear certain colors. Is it fair to me that I should have to tailor my choice of colors based on the fact that someone might try shoot at me? No, but then life’s not fair and frankly that’s a choice I made by living in America’s gang capital.
So while I feel for Brian Stow’s family and friends—the San Francisco Giant’s fan who was severally beaten by two Dodgers’ fans at the end of the Dodgers’ home opener last week—the common sense side of me can’t help but ask whether or not this tragic incident could have been avoided.
Last year, I decided to go downtown with thousands of other Los Angeles Lakers fan for the final showdown against the Boston Celtics. Clad in my purple and gold, I remember watching as the crowd exploded when the word hit that the Lakers were the champions—and then all hell broke lose. I watched as people with green and white hats and jerseys hurried past me trying to get the hell out of dodge—and I remember thinking, why not just take off the hat and turn your shirt inside out? It beats taking the chance that some drunken group of Lakers’ fans are going to bash your head in. I’m just saying.
For the record—I do believe that people should have the right to wear whatever color or sports team apparel they want to wherever and whenever they want to. I also believe that no person should be homeless or go hungry—but sadly that ain’t the case and so common sense must prevail.
For example, it’s common sense that keeps me from putting a red, black, and green flag or sticker on my car, something that for me symbolizes Black Power and consciousness—similar to the many Mexican flags I observe on houses, apartments, and cars. But I know that driving in Los Angeles these days with a Black Power flag could be an open invitation to vandalize my car—something that I don’t want to deal with and so—no flag.
Woulda, shoulda, and coulda isn’t going to undo the severe brain damage suffered by Brian Stow or bring him out of his comatose state, but it could be a lesson to future fans who are planning on attending games here in Los Angeles to let common sense prevail over team spirit and pride. Either don’t wear it—or take that ish off after the game when you’re on your way out and spare yourself any unwanted altercations. At the end of the day, all of the team pride in the world won’t bring you out of a coma or bring you back to life. I’m just saying, live to attend another game.
Alas, I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been a Dodgers’ fan who was beaten, which would have really sucked. Who wants to take one for the team only to find out later that the gazillionaire owner of the same team they were severely beaten over puts up a measly $25,000 to catch the culprits. Ouch.
On another note, I wish former L.A.P.D. Police Chief William “say it like it is” Bratton were still around.