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Sporting and Shooting

Updated: Apr 19

By Winston Chu Apr. 3, 2024

After the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV in the last few seconds of overtime, ecstatic fans paraded the streets in support of their victory. However, echoing through the crowd alongside the cheers and chants of people were bullets and gunshots.

Daniel Choi art

Two men have been arrested and charged with second degree murder following the shootout at the Kansas City Chiefs parade. Released statements document the two men engaging in verbal argument, which quickly escalated to pulling out their handguns and firing. One person was fatally shot, and 22 people were injured as panicked fans fled the scene.

While the cause of the shooting has not been directly connected to the Super Bowl, this, unfortunately, is not the first instance of brutality in a sports setting. In 2023, individuals at the NFL Dolphins-Patriots game engaged in a physical scuffle, resulting in one fatality. In 2011, after the NHL Stanley Cup, upset fans took to the streets, throwing bottles, burning cars, looting and stabbing civilians, which left around 150 civilians injured.

Recently, critics have been pinpointing alcohol as the root cause of sports violence. For example, after Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, a fan parade through the  streets of downtown Seattle started out relatively orderly, but once the crowd felt the full effects of intoxication, they smashed champagne bottles and lit furniture on fire, as documented by Business Insider. This is especially an issue in sports culture, as high rates of alcohol use and violence are found in many athletic populations, with around 80 percent of major college football schools selling alcohol at games.

“I feel that this violence sprouts not simply from alcohol use, but is more deeply rooted to negative aspects of American sports culture, such as hyper-competitiveness and toxic fan culture. A combination of unhealthy living habits paired with an escalating situation can result in innocent people being harmed,” Sophomore Daniel Xu said.

Mob mentality also plays a large role. Large scale riots and other forms of mass violence allow people to feel powerful when they know they will not be held responsible for their actions.

“Sports organizations can tackle mob mentality by increasing security around larger crowds. That way, if riots break out, and it is actively being controlled, less people will be likely to join in and fight,” Freshmen Trevor Hull said.

To exacerbate issues, certain sports, such as hockey  and football, have a culture of violence associated with them. Multiple players in the NHL view fighting as a “sense of accountability” and a form of being “engaged in the game,” according to interviews from the Associated Press. Sometimes, underlying racial and social tensions can spark brawls such as during the July 1969, FIFA qualifying matches between Honduras and El SalvadorWith each match, more and more riots between the two rival countries occurred in the stands and on the fields, and 1,700 police were required to attend the game to prevent widespread violence,  as per the British Broadcasting Corporation.

In order to prevent sports violence, teams have started implementing security rings with metal detectors and screenings for potentially dangerous people. Some venues, including the Madison Square Garden in New York, have started using facial recognition to identify criminals, as reported by the New York Times. Furthermore , relegating fans who drink into areas with tighter security can prevent altercations. Also, adequate facilities with large spaces will lessen the chances of interaction between two people looking for trouble.

With sports acting as a major source of entertainment for many, prioritizing the safety of both players and spectators by fostering an environment of respect and sportsmanship is imperative.


About the contributors

Winston Chu

staff writer

Winston Chu is a sophomore at Leland High. He enjoys writing, debating, and sleeping.

Daniel Choi


Daniel Choi is a junior at Leland High School and an artist for The Charger Account. During his free time, he enjoys watching shows, taking walks, and sleeping.

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