The ugly scene at Saturday night’s Raiders-49ers game, where one fan was badly beaten in a Candlestick Park restroom during the game and two fans were shot in a parking lot afterward, has the mayors of San Francisco and Oakland saying violence at sporting events cannot be tolerated.
“The incidents . . . are completely unacceptable and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement. “Fans come to our stadiums to enjoy an afternoon of football, not to be subjected to intimidation or violence. These games are family events and the types of images we witnessed last night have no place in our arenas.”
Tempers frequently flare between rival fans at NFL games, but the Raiders-49ers game was a particularly ugly scene. In addition to the beating and the shootings, videos have been uploaded to YouTube appearing to show brawls between 49ers and Raiders fans in the stands and in a parking lot.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello issued a statement saying the league takes violence at games seriously.
“We deplore the activities of a handful of fans at last night’s game and pledge our full support to Mayors Lee and Quan and to state and local law enforcement agencies,” Aiello said. “We are carefully reviewing the events to make sure we have a full understanding of the facts. We will continue to work closely with our clubs and law enforcement agencies to support our fan conduct and stadium security initiatives.”
The NFL should have no higher priority than making sure its stadiums are safe places. The violence in San Francisco on Saturday night was appalling.