Police Were Right To Taser Philadelphia Phillies' Fan
So there I was, sitting at the table watching sportscenter and drinking my morning coffee.
My wife had woke up and fixed herself a cup of tea.
As she rolled her eyes when she realized it was not the morning news, but sports once again, on the TV.
It was about that time that the story about the fan, Steve Consalvi, who ran on to the field during a Philadelphia Phillies game came on.
I snickered as I watched the video of the fan running across the outfield during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals.
That was, until the fan was tasered by the police officer.
The first thing my wife asked "was this necessary".
Without a thought, the first word to come out of my mouth was, yes.
She did not think he intended any harm and was just doing something goofy. The 17-year-old, future Penn State Nittany Lion, in her eyes was just running on the field having a good time.
I as a sports fan, I see this differently.
I remember the day in 1993, when a crazed and overzealous Steffi Graf fan stabbed Monica Seles. The number one ranked Women’s Tennis player in the world, who at the time had a career that could have been record breaking, was stopped in her tracks.
Before I could fully get the image of Seles on the court with tears in her eyes and surrounded by tournament officials I remembered that night at Comiskey Park, in Chicago when two crazed White Sox fans attacked Kansas City Royals Tom Gamboa, in 2003.
Can any sports fan forget the shirtless father and son who threw Gamboa to the ground and began pummeling him?
In nearly every sport, if not every sport, there are tales of boorish fan behavior.
From rugby to hockey, to football to track and field, there have been instances of spectators becoming more than spectators.
Fans want athletes punished severely when they come into the stands. I am sure everyone remembers the Malice at the Palace.
If fans want to be protected from athletes charging into the stands, they have to remember that athletes want to be protected from fan charging the field.
It has been reported that Consalvi called his father to ask if it was okay to run on to the field.
His father told him he did not think it was a good idea.
Maybe Consalvi should have listened to his father but like most of us, did not listen to his parents until it was too late.
If he had listened to his father he would not have been all over the sports world.
Consalvi’s father said his son was not on drugs, nor had he been drinking.
That may be the case, but the security or the police that were working the game did not know this.
These men did not know if he meant harm to any of the players on the field or if he was just running around acting like a fool.
While it was sad and funny (I must admit), Consalvi was tasered.
He deserved it.
Going to a game gives fans the right to cheer as hard as they can for their team and within reason, try to get under the skin of opposing players.
What fans do not get the right to do is throw thing or come on to the field.
The first job of security officers should be to protect the players on the field once a fan leaves the stands. Even if that means giving the right to used any force necessary (excluding deadly force) to remove a fan from the field.
This is not an overreaction to this event. No one knows when the next Monica Seles event will happen.
Consalvi might have been a 17 year old kid who had a poor lapse in judgment.
The problem is that the security on the field did not know what kind of intentions Consalvi had.
For anyone who thinks that the use of a taser was excessive or unnecessary, you should think about this. What if, where you worked someone who did not belong was running around acting like a fool?
What would you want the people who are supposed to keep you safe at work, to do?
Allow someone to be where they do not belong? Or remove them by any means necessary?
I would hope that I would be protected. Athletes on the field have the same expectations.
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