While the state of California is known for sometimes creating unnecessary laws, a bill currently proposed in the California State Assembly makes sense, and may set a precedence for other states to follow suit. If the legislation passes, the Golden State would be the first to create a “Ban List” that would “prohibit violent fans from attending professional sports events anywhere in the state for up to five years under newly proposed legislation.
The Sacramento Bee reported that the ban would only apply to those convicted of felonies such as assault, and it would not include less serious crimes, such as abusive heckling and throwing beer.
The proposed law comes as a result of several rather horrific violent incidents that have occurred at sporting events across the nation recently. A year ago this month, San Francisco Giants’ fan Bryan Stowe became a victim of violence after he was beaten senseless following a Los Angeles Dodgers game. During a preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders in August, there were several shootings in the parking lot and others acts of violence inside the stadium.
Just before Christmas, a New York Jets fan was savagely beaten in the parking lot after the game by a group of Kansas City Chiefs fans, and in January while two San Francisco 49ers fans were cheering on their team at an Applebee’s restaurant in Georgia, they were shot at in the parking lot as they left the building. A man was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in the incident.
The legislation will not have an affect on the average fan attending a sporting event, but if it does pass, I hope that it will make a difference in the record amount of violence we’ve been seeing.