Rowdy Fans Ruining Sports
Welcome back to the clubhouse. And if you're a baseball player, stay inside your clubhouse, because it may be the only place you're safe.
I'm still having trouble understanding why more sports officials are not more alarmed about the rage in the stands among fans. The latest example involved Chuck Knoblauch, who was besieged with debris by fans in Minnesota - three years after leaving there in a trade with the Yankees that brought the Twins one of the best young pitchers, Eric Milton, in the game today.
I talked to some players in and around baseball this week, and they almost to a man expressed to me that at times they feel like a sitting duck once they take the field. The anger some fans feel for the millionaires they pay to watch is getting scary. Will it lead to another Seles-like stabbing?
Let's look at the recent incidents. Kevin Malone was recently fired as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers after responding to what some say was a vicious verbal attack in San Diego. Those same Dodgers were baited into the stands in Chicago last year. When an athlete was doused with beer, his competitive instincts kicked in.
Longtime NBA coach Hubie Brown put it best when he said, "Yeah, we are suppose to look the other way. But how much can a man take before he fights back?"
If a fan is that upset about ticket prices, why not stay home? Excessive drinking is more appropriate for the sports bar than the stadium. Considering school shootings and workplace violence, how long will it be until the sports arena is the scene of a crime?
Passion is inherent in the game. Now that passion seems to cross the line into rage.
Boxing is a mess. I know, how many times can you read boxing and mess in the same sentence. But Hasim Rahman got to the essence of the sport when he knocked out Lennox Lewis as a 20-1 underdog. Now he may take the rematch, with no belts, by no fault of his own.
Mike Tyson, as the top World Boxing Championship contender, sued for the right to be Rahman's next mandatory fight – and won. So if Rahman fights Lewis as intended, he will be stripped of his belt.
David Tua, meanwhile, is suing the IBF for the right to fight Rahman, a man he once knocked out. If Tua wins, the IBF may strip Rahman of his title if he rematches Lewis. Contractually, he may have to fight Lewis or be sued.
Why can a contract mandate a quick rematch that would result in two lawsuits and the relinquishment of two titles? The answer is that there is no commissioner, no league, no rules. Boxing is the only sport that makes you question your own loyalty on a daily basis.
Do you agree with me or have a new slant on the story? Be sure to give it to me the feeback at Kilmeade@foxnews.com.