Inside Conditions – The Spirit of ‘Spartacus’

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January 20, 1980, Sincelejo, Colombia: bleachers at a bullring collapsed, leaving 222 dead.

October 20, 1982 Moscow: according to Sovietsky Sport, as many as 340 died at Lenin Stadium when exiting soccer fans collided with returning fans after final goal was scored. All the fans had been crowded into one section of stadium by police.

May 11, 1985 Bradford, England: 56 burned to death and over 200 injured when fire engulfed main grandstand at Bradford’s soccer stadium.

May 29, 1985 Brussels, Belgium: when British Liverpool club fans attacked rival Italian supporters of Juventus team at the Heysel Stadium before the European Champion’s Cup final, a concrete retaining wall collapsed and 39 people were trampled to death. More than 400 people were injured.

October 16, 1996 Guatemala City: at least 84 killed and 147 injured by stampeding soccer fans before a 1998 World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica held at Mateo Flores National Stadium.

There have been many more fatal accidents in Unites States sports venues as well as other sports stadiums around the world.  One of the reasons that I am writing this column is that it is easy to be killed or injured in some of the flawed and ill designed venues around the globe.

There also seems to be a growing mean spiritedness that has become a negative part of the so-called sports culture. A few White males seem to be experiencing a testosterone epidemic, well at least when it comes to sports venues and the games played within.

These guys get so hyped up and juiced up and depending on if they win or lose anything can happen and they can possibly screw up bad, really bad! Some of these “ultra fans” reside in a fantasy “macho macho man” world and often fantasize that they’re the ones making the tackle, hitting the winning home run or scoring the decisive goal.

According to a report written by Kevin Murphy and published by Reuters on Feb. 21, 2014 Joshua Bradley 25, [was] accused of striking Kyle Van Winkle, 30, multiple times after an argument on December 1, 2013 outside the National Football League game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Van Winkle left the stadium during the game and went to a parked Jeep Cherokee that resembled the one he arrived in, according to a probable cause statement by Kansas City police.

But the vehicle belonged to another person, who found Van Winkle passed out inside and sought help getting him removed, according to police. Bradley, among others, responded and he argued with Van Winkle before punching him to the ground and then kept striking him.

My point is getting sloppy drunk and passing out in someone else’s vehicle may be offensive, but assaulting someone who is drunk and passed out in someone else’s vehicle is cruel, inhumane and homicidal.

Is that one of the reasons that “stand your ground” laws are now considered the rule rather than the exception.  A man died because he mistakenly identified someone else’s car as his and sought sanctuary not the cemetery. America seems to be evolving into one big “fight to the death” arena where anything goes.  Is this the indicator of our future as well as the future of sports?

(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)

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