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Fans sue NFL, 49ers over injuries from beating, shooting

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At a time when the NFL hopes to provide a safer environment inside its stadiums, a pair of fans claims that the league hasn’t done enough to provide a safer environment outside its stadiums.

According to Matthias Gafni of the Contra Costa Times, two men injured during a fight in the Candlestick Park parking lot last August quietly filed suit in November 2011 for their injuries.  One of the men was beaten unconscious and the other was shot during a parking-lot altercation at the preseason game between the Raiders and 49ers.

Daniel Long and Gabriel Navarrette claim that the 49ers, the NFL, and the company that provides security at the Candlestick Park parking lot failed to “proactively create an environment that was free from fighting, taunting or threatening remarks and/or gestures and gang activity.”

The lawsuit cites among other things comments from Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, who once admitted that the team advised players to keep their families home for games against the Raiders due to safety concerns.

“‘Tell your families to sit this one out and watch it on TV,’” Montana said former coach Bill Walsh told the players. “It just wasn’t that safe to be around.”

Oops.

“The San Francisco 49ers are committed to providing a safe game day environment for all fans. That commitment has led to the highest security level rating given by the NFL. We cannot comment on the specifics of this case as litigation is ongoing,” the 49ers said in a statement provided to the Times.

After a game that featured multiple incidents inside and outside Candlestick Park, Navarrette was beaten and Long was shot four times while trying to rescue Navarrette in the stadium parking lot.

Trial is set for August 19, 2013.

Complaints regarding harassment of Saints fans at January’s playoff game in San Francisco prompted the 49ers to use undercover cops dressed as Giants fans for the NFC title game against New York.  It looks like every team should use a similar strategy before, during, and after games — anywhere and everywhere on the property.

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64 Responses to “Fans sue NFL, 49ers over injuries from beating, shooting”
  1. getthegleam says: Aug 24, 2012 1:58 PM

    I’m a Raiders fan and trust me when i say. I used to go to Raider games every year. I will never take my children to a game and I would never go without at least 4-5 friends in attendance as well. I witnessed incidents in the stadium and outside and I choose not to pay my hard earned money for a chance to get maimed.

  2. acdrew22 says: Aug 24, 2012 1:59 PM

    how can stadium officials be responsible for idiots at a game? you have to keep in mind if alcohol was a factor in this violence. I was at the raiders niners last regular season game and of course there was smack talk before during and after the game, but it takes dumb individuals to make the decision to resort to violence. maybe if they decide to take away alcohol at games, these fans would drop the lawsuit real quick…

  3. f4phantom9277 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:01 PM

    This is ok, just don’t do what G Williams did………give a pre-game speech full of words with no actions…that’s wrong. Great group of people who know how to treat one another in/at a sporting event in California……

  4. fm31970 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:01 PM

    Don’t take your guns to Candlestick, son,
    Leave your guns at home, Raiders faaaans,
    Don’t take your guns, to games…

  5. mintberrycrunch1 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:01 PM

    Complaints regarding harassment of Saints fans at January’s playoff game in San Francisco prompted the 49ers to use undercover cops dressed as Giants fans for the NFC title game against New York.  It looks like every team should use a similar strategy before, during, and after games — anywhere and everywhere on the property.

    ————-

    I actually agree with this. Its much more efficient, less time consuming, and definitely less invasive than implementing something stupid like airport scanners. Im sure the undercovers dont mind watching a football game either!

  6. wryly1 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:02 PM

    Might help if you had to have a ticket to the game to get into those close-in, problematic, lots. Keeps the lowlife knuckle-draggers out.

  7. rajbais says: Aug 24, 2012 2:04 PM

    For a franchise that made a smart (but lucky) move with the hiring of Jim Harbaugh, it was reckless and stupid for not having security.

    We have security for conventions with less people than preseason games have and Jed York was this negligent?

    I saw this lawsuit coming one year ago, but I thought it would be filed sooner.

  8. kylexitron says: Aug 24, 2012 2:08 PM

    “proactively create an environment that was free from fighting, taunting or threatening remarks and/or gestures and gang activity.”

    we can’t even “proactively create” public elementary schools in even the wealthy neighborhoods from “Fighting, taunting, or threatening remarks”, how do these grown men expect that sort of guaranteed safe environment to be created … in a parking lot..at night… after a football game….with alcohol…in Oakland…..?

  9. bloggingpoodlewalker says: Aug 24, 2012 2:10 PM

    I live in the bay area, have all my life,..SF is nothing short of an open sewer with disgusting filthy criminals living there on the streets. Period. If you hear anything different about that city they are lying to you.

  10. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 24, 2012 2:10 PM

    They need to do something about this. Every stadium has their share of unruly obnoxious fans but the 49ers fans seem to be downright dangerous and unable to behave in a civilized manner. Maybe they should just take away the team and move it to a fanbase that can act like human beings and not escaped convicts.

  11. coltsluckdynasty says: Aug 24, 2012 2:12 PM

    That’s just sad, I understand loving your team, and maybe giving a little fun poke at a visiting fan, but fighting, and shooting crosses a completely different line. I was at the 2007 home opener when the colts dropped the beloved super bowl champion banner against the saints. There was an entire row of saints fans in front of us, and we were having a blast. They got beat 41-10, and the saints fans were amazing. We bought beers for each other, we were laughing, enjoying a great atmosphere. Not once did it ever cross my mind to talk a bunch of smack to them. I wanted visiting fans to feel welcome at my home stadium. Man, when it comes to fear of being shot, that’s not something any fan should ever have to worry about. Especially if you want to make a trip to another stadium, to enjoy the road trip, and making a memory for life. Come on people, we are all better than this. I would hug a new England fan……..

  12. askmarc says: Aug 24, 2012 2:12 PM

    There were no Raider Fans involved in this incident. You forgot to mention that part.

  13. veence69 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:12 PM

    I haven’t been to a game since week one of the 2001 season. Drunk, obnoxious, belligerent and confrontational football fans are the reason.

  14. woodsa22 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:17 PM

    “Trial is set for August 19, 2013.”

    2013? Are they hoping these two die of old age??

  15. blacknole08 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:19 PM

    This incident and the Bryan Stow beating shows how bad fans can get when alcohol and testosterone/rush of adrenaline from the game itself are mixed. Some diehards just take this game way to seriously and get overly emotional over simple trash talk.

    What’s even more concerning to me is that these incidents have occurred during the pre-season where the games are meaningless.

    Hope the victims get some type of settlement and ca have closure from this incident.

  16. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Aug 24, 2012 2:23 PM

    Litigious society pisses me off so much. You think Roger Goodell or John Harbaugh or Jed York is trooping around the parking lot trying to keep every fan safe? Bad things happen, accept them and move on. If money is the one thing that will heal you, obviously you haven’t suffered that much you materialistic bastard. I feel bad for the fan, but the NFL and 49ers are not at blame in this situation. If you want to sue the hell out of the man who shot you, good luck. The team and league are not liable to protect all 100 million of their fans.

  17. stevez51 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:25 PM

    What all this means is the perps are low income with not much to pay out. The team and league have deep pockets and you get a bigger payout. It’s just lawyer greed.

  18. raiderholik says: Aug 24, 2012 2:25 PM

    I am a DIE HARD Raider fan and I stopped going a few years back after another Raider fan (gangmember) pulled a knife on me inside the stadium. Honestly because I was from LA. I am far far from a gangmember but am mexican.

    I wish I could take my boy to a game but I will never attend one in Oakland again. Its pretty sad!

  19. sb44champs says: Aug 24, 2012 2:30 PM

    Yep, their fans are some of the worst in the entire league and they’re in for a rude awakening come the 25th of November when the Saints and Drew Brees completely destroys the Niners and their hopes for a successful season!! Who Dat!!!

  20. norcalmafia says: Aug 24, 2012 2:30 PM

    Dont come to the stick in another teams jersey and be disrespectful…

  21. evilfhud says: Aug 24, 2012 2:33 PM

    How meaningless does your life have to be lose control to the point where you shoot someone over an argument about football? I mean really…

  22. thegreatonesays says: Aug 24, 2012 2:34 PM

    ilovefoolsball says: Aug 24, 2012 2:10 PM

    They need to do something about this. Every stadium has their share of unruly obnoxious fans but the 49ers fans seem to be downright dangerous and unable to behave in a civilized manner. Maybe they should just take away the team and move it to a fanbase that can act like human beings and not escaped convicts.
    ______________________________

    Yeah may want to check your facts here. The shooter was a raiders fan

    askmarc says: Aug 24, 2012 2:12 PM

    There were no Raider Fans involved in this incident. You forgot to mention that part.

    ______________________________________

    Complete lie. The pair filing suit are 49ers fans yes. The shooter was indeed a raiders fan.

  23. radrntn says: Aug 24, 2012 2:37 PM

    well if these are the gang bangers who were in the parking lot getting drunk(all over you tube) and didnt’t even go to the game are getting paid, how much will the raider fan who was inside the stadium who was beat unconsious by the niners fan attending the game while going to the bathroom going to get paid…..sounds like lawsuit #2 is on the way as well.

  24. broncosnative says: Aug 24, 2012 2:41 PM

    How about suing the person who caused you damage instead of suing the league just because you know they have the money to compensate you well. You hear these things all the time, someone gets assaulted at a business and want to sue the business for not being safe enough. We don’t have the technology to determine a bad person just by looking at them, you can’t have a security guard for every person in the arena. Best advice, stay at home, invite the fellas, bring your popcorn and watch the game on the tv with better sound and closer view.

  25. nyjets1017 says: Aug 24, 2012 2:42 PM

    It comes down to 2 things. Common sense and respect. I have seen fights almost start bc some guy just wouldn’t sit down and blocked everyone’s view.

  26. pooflingingmonkey says: Aug 24, 2012 2:52 PM

    @veence69 says:
    Aug 24, 2012 2:12 PM
    “I haven’t been to a game since week one of the 2001 season. Drunk, obnoxious, belligerent and confrontational football fans are the reason.”

    Same here. I haven’t been to a game in 15 years due to uncontrollable, drunken fans. It’s quite the conundrum for the league becuase they make millions off of beer sponsors, but it is obviously the alcohol that leads to these problems.

  27. mgfred says: Aug 24, 2012 2:55 PM

    Years ago the end zones at Foxboro were bad for drunks…. Never this kind of stuff…

    I have thought about going to Pat’s games in the bay area over the last few years… After the incidents last year, I was right to stay home and watch them on TV.

  28. japadacktle49 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:10 PM

    @
    bloggingpoodlewalker says:
    Aug 24, 2012 2:10 PM
    I live in the bay area, have all my life,..SF is nothing short of an open sewer with disgusting filthy criminals living there on the streets. Period. If you hear anything different about that city they are lying to you.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world. Your post is absolutely ridiculous pal… It’s about time for you to pack up and move out of the Bay area if its such a terrible place.. Your post could not be any further from the truth..

  29. goldrush36 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:16 PM

    2 years in a row there has been a shooting at a raiders preseason game. Yeah that must really be a coincidence. But oh they were AZ residents this year so no way possible they were Raiders fans right?

  30. tgraider says: Aug 24, 2012 3:19 PM

    It is not the real 9ers or Raider fans that create these issues. In fact the shooting at candlestick last year was not even people that were at the game. Candlestick is in Hunters Point! If you don’t how it is the worst area in Nor Cal by far!

  31. seanb20124 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:23 PM

    Walsh’s comment is close to 30 yrs old

  32. daysend564 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:33 PM

    Aren’t most of these highly violent actions happening during preseason games? These are games that the gangbangers can actually afford a ticket to go see. The game is meaningless, so what better thing to do than get wasted while there. This drunkenness is going to happen with or without selling beer in the stadium, they’ll just get drunk before the game, after the game, or at half time.

  33. racerx1225 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:34 PM

    Was completely the San Francisco fans who started everything that day. Lest ye forget how they beat a Dodgers fan into a coma shortly before this day. They are way worse than Oakland fans, way worse.

  34. cuse6468 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:41 PM

    Make sure Goodell is sued separately. This arrogant jerk, needs to be taken down a peg.

  35. covercorner says: Aug 24, 2012 3:41 PM

    I hope this guy ends up owning the team & league.

  36. hedleykow says: Aug 24, 2012 3:42 PM

    Appears that Long possesses the admirable attribute of loyalty. Shot 4 times while trying to rescue his partner? That’s a true friend!

  37. howiehandles says: Aug 24, 2012 3:45 PM

    “The team and league are not liable to protect all 100 million of their fans.”

    If they take you money, allowing you onto their property, they bear responsibility for your safety.

    It’s not much different than if something fell off the building and landed on you, or if you slipped on wet stairs. Plus, the lawyers know that big money will settle out of court, where as getting money from the accused, will be like getting blood from a stone.

  38. snargi01 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:50 PM

    Actually, it was a Giants fan beaten into a coma at Dodgers Stadium. Then less than a year later another guy suffered a beatdown in Dodgers Stadium.

  39. abains007 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:53 PM

    Yet philly still has the worst fans….
    (philly fan living in sf)

  40. thegreatonesays says: Aug 24, 2012 3:54 PM

    racerx1225 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:34 PM

    Was completely the San Francisco fans who started everything that day. Lest ye forget how they beat a Dodgers fan into a coma shortly before this day. They are way worse than Oakland fans, way worse.

    _______________________________________

    Funny how you guys like to twist stuff so much. Go ahead and Google Brian Stow. He was a GIANTS fan, and a paramedic who was jumped by 2 Dodgers fans that now are staring at a life sentence WHEN they are found guilty

  41. szwhtsup123 says: Aug 24, 2012 3:54 PM

    I lived in Southern California when the Rams were in LA. I used to go to a lot of games including the Rams/Raiders. When the Raiders were in town the game was always a riot waiting to break out and often did. Now in Florida whenever the Fins play the Raiders, it’s the same thing but not as bad. I don’t know if the Raiders fans have a chip on their shoulders and think they need to prove something, or that’s just a perception. At least they’re not as bad as when Jet fans come to town!

  42. citynative says: Aug 24, 2012 4:06 PM

    @abains007 says:

    Yet philly still has the worst fans….
    (philly fan living in sf)

    – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

    Philly fans are. Listen to most athletes and other fans. Please leave our city to rejoin your worst fans.

  43. sureban says: Aug 24, 2012 4:11 PM

    It’s a slippery slope. Keep asking for more protection and sceurity. Eventually it will be ubiquitous. Take care of yourself!

  44. malignantsociety says: Aug 24, 2012 4:14 PM

    “an environment that was free from fighting, taunting or threatening remarks and/or gestures and gang activity.”

    other than the gang activity, that sounds like every tail-gate.

  45. ripster65 says: Aug 24, 2012 4:16 PM

    Dont come to the stick in another teams jersey and be disrespectful…

    ————

    How about let the fans support their teams wherever they may be playing? You wouldn’t sport your 49er gear at a road game? You’re a weak-sister if you don’t, in my opinion. I’ve been verbally abused by many an obnoxious Dallas fan while sporting my 9er gear at Cowboy games and there were times that I seriously did feel for my safety. Maybe they were pissed because it was a Cowboys/packers playoff game and they knew the 49ers would eventually bounce the ‘boys the following week to go win the SB in ’95…? What better place to wear your gear than at a pro football game? If you get that offended simply by my choice of clothing maybe you need to re-evaluate your life. Yours sound like words spoken by a real life, honest to goodness “gangsta”.

  46. budmanjim says: Aug 24, 2012 4:39 PM

    This is from a guy that retired from a major beer company, and a huge fan of NFL football. If doing away with alcohol at NFL games will provide a safe environment for people to attend a game, then do it . It’s a damn shame that a guy can’t take his son/daughter to a game without fearing for their safety. I doubt this will ever happen because the greedy owners will never sacrifice the revenue from alcohol sale for the safety of their fans. I for one will never attend another NFL game…

  47. rushbacker says: Aug 24, 2012 4:50 PM

    Apologies to the good fans, but as far as I’m concerned they need to contract both bay area teams if they can’t make it safe for fans to come to the stadium. Enough is enough, freakin’ get it together.

  48. urlacher2000 says: Aug 24, 2012 4:50 PM

    It is very unfortunate that 99% of fans Tailgate responsibly & drink responsibly. Then every time the other 1% cause trouble….. it becomes a big deal. The NFL and most teams don’t like Tailgating anyways. They would rather you drink their $12 beers inside (instead of the cheaper ones in the parking lot). A lot more people kill others while driving home drunk after watching NFL games at bars than those that attend the games at the stadium. Since the team & the NFL get sued (in the rare cases of a fan driving home drunk from a game & killing someone), it gives them another reason to further restrict Tailgating.

  49. ceschatz says: Aug 24, 2012 5:07 PM

    wow these fans are pathetic. maybe all those people who were shot in that theater should sue the theater also.

  50. mikespimpin says: Aug 24, 2012 5:12 PM

    Im a Chargers fan and I just moved up north to the Bay Area. I want to go to the MNF opener: Chargers @ Raiders.

    I consider myself a pretty tough guy, but at the same time I want to go the game and have fun, not fight. I’m not going to be “looking for a fight”

    Can a Charger fan go root on his team in the black hole without getting in a brawl or is it pretty much guaranteed im gonna have to throwdown?

  51. musicman495 says: Aug 24, 2012 5:15 PM

    whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Aug 24, 2012 2:23 PM

    Litigious society pisses me off so much. You think Roger Goodell or John Harbaugh or Jed York is trooping around the parking lot trying to keep every fan safe? Bad things happen, accept them and move on. If money is the one thing that will heal you, obviously you haven’t suffered that much you materialistic bastard. I feel bad for the fan, but the NFL and 49ers are not at blame in this situation.
    ———————
    That, my friend, is exactly what will be decided by the jury (if there is not a settlement first).

    As for whether suing for monetary damages shows that a victim has not suffered very much, what do you suggest would be more appropriate compensation for those who have been harmed by someone’s negligence – popcorn and season tickets?

  52. norcalmafia says: Aug 24, 2012 5:20 PM

    Fans in Frisco can be rowdy..not all are bad though..not saying its right but it is the Bay Area and alot of Niner fans are Norteno gang members who are responsible for alot of the violence..

  53. lippy4246 says: Aug 24, 2012 5:20 PM

    Not everyone at Candlestick was a tool that day. I sat around some great football fans and we had a great time. We all enjoyed a classic day of football played by two good teams. The problem is there are some bad elements at Candlestick

  54. db105 says: Aug 24, 2012 5:55 PM

    Amazing how most people would think an extremely rare occurance is the norm.

  55. larryjames836 says: Aug 24, 2012 6:06 PM

    The 49er’s fans talking about Saints fans harassment them maybe they was telling the 49er’s we heard about you fans. But we not the one’s that you fans would want to mess with we are game for whatever you guys want to do. The 49er’s just need to take thelr punishment like the New Orleans Saints and stop pointing fingers at the next person you did it so handle your business.

  56. pete387 says: Aug 24, 2012 6:19 PM

    The stadium and league do have a responsibility to provide a safe venue – to a certain degree. Like making sure the building doesn’t collapse and there are enough exits, etc. Can you really hold them responsible for the bad behavior of a third party? Are people suing that theater in Colorado because they failed to provide a safe movie going experience?

  57. claytron5000 says: Aug 24, 2012 6:36 PM

    First I love that PFT is making a connection between the violence stemming from this lawsuit and the complaints about the Saints/Niners playoff game.

    The big bad 49er fans. Nevermind the Saints fan in Georgia that shot at two Niner fans outside an Applebee’s.
    It happens every preseason when the low-rent, wannabe-banger Niner/Raider fans spend there weed money on the only game tickets they can afford. FYI the shooting and the beating were at the hands of men wearing Raider gear. The lawsuit is being filed by 49er “fans.” This is precisely why the two teams will probably never play a pre-season game again at the Stick or in Oakland.

    They broke ground on the new stadium in Santa Clara to get back the “wine and cheese” crowd and the cash that comes with it. Families should be able to go see the Niners play and in a couple of years most of these “fans,” will be priced out of the facilities anyway.

  58. itsmammoth says: Aug 24, 2012 6:46 PM

    I just want to say…

    We may fight, we may scream at each other…but

    I love all my NFC East brothers.

    Go Cowboys.

  59. 49erstim says: Aug 24, 2012 7:00 PM

    I have traveled to many NFL stadiums. Taunting and foul language is par for the course. I don’t mind a little “yer team sux” stuff. Doesn’t bother me at all, but I’ve been threatened 3 times in about 9 away games. You’ve just gotta keep walking. A lot of times it is the booze talking….as for the gang stuff: i lived in Phoenix for a little while and it was horrendous. This is a spreading epidemic folks. These little wannabes think they’re men because they pack heat or because they roll 10-deep and you’re alone. They sure are TOUGH! (sarcasm).

  60. justafan24 says: Aug 24, 2012 7:09 PM

    This is what is wrong with this country…..someone gets hurt and they sue…..so why is it the NFL or the 49ers fault?? even if you have 500 security officers they cant be everywhere and lets say the stadium holds 50,000 fans and for kicks lets say 5,000 to 10,000 are drunk, and want to start fights or etc. there isnt alot security can do, they cant be everywhere. The NFL and the 49ers are not at fault. it sucks someone got shot, but sometimes stuff happens. no different than going to the grocery store and getting beat up or shot and then sue the city because there was not any security….when does it stop???

  61. tatum064 says: Aug 24, 2012 7:16 PM

    japadacktle49 says:
    Aug 24, 2012 3:10 PM
    @
    bloggingpoodlewalker says:
    Aug 24, 2012 2:10 PM
    I live in the bay area, have all my life,..SF is nothing short of an open sewer with disgusting filthy criminals living there on the streets. Period. If you hear anything different about that city they are lying to you.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world. Your post is absolutely ridiculous pal… It’s about time for you to pack up and move out of the Bay area if its such a terrible place.. Your post could not be any further from the truth..

    =========================

    Its not ridiculous.

    S.F. has crime just like any other place and shootings go on, just like any other place. It has the Metreon, AT&T Park, Union Square and a lot of good press. I’m from Oakland, and have gone to games for 10 years and will continue to go to games

    Things happen, people run their mouths on both sides of the bay, but it was a great series. They knew a suit was coming so they stopped the series on purpose, primarily to hurt the Raider fan base in S.F. and reward the new burgeoning fan base for the Santa Clara Stadium and completely remove all possibility of those two teams co-existing (and sharing revenue for the league).

    it was a politically motivated move, and it worked out fairly well, since the Niners went on to an NFC Championship and appears to be re-branding the image.

    Raider Nation forever, it is the greatest, most infamous organization on the West Coast – and is beloved throughout California and SoCal in particular. – Hoping the rivalry continues and both teams rep the West Coast. A shame that politics and some bad characters’ violence have ruined this charismatic and classic rivalry.

  62. spfripp says: Aug 24, 2012 7:21 PM

    The NFL is hurting it self by not taking steps to make the football environment more family oriented. People take their kids, their kids turn to fans and those kids in return brings their kids.

    If the wanted to do the right thing (and it pains me to say this as much as I love beer), they need to get rid of the alcohol. I remember one game I went to there was a ton of drunks all around me and right in front of me was a kid and his dad. The group of guys next to them was pretty rowdy. Surprise they did not get into a fight but the one guy right sitting right next to the kid eventually passed out and was leaning towards the kid with a steady flow of drew coming out of his mouth. Why would anyone want to expose their kids to something like that?

  63. 49erlifer says: Aug 24, 2012 8:19 PM

    Just another sunday at the stick Go Niners!

  64. norcalmafia says: Aug 24, 2012 9:06 PM

    I love how people keep calling them “wannabee” gangsters….if there shooting people and beating them un conscious I dont think those are “wannabees”..Its the people who make comments like that who are the ones getting shot or beat at candlestick…smh

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