Fan Against Violence Featured in Inside Tailgating Magazine

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We are very proud to announce Fans Against Violence has been Inside Tailgating Magazine -Fans Against Violencechosen to be the featured article in “Inside Tailgating“magazine. We’re so grateful for their interest in our cause, and for providing the attention needed to help put an end to fan violence. Kindly pick up your copy of the Winter 2013-2014 to read the whole story, and help spread our message to fans of all sports and teams!

Inside Tailgating Magazine is a great resource for everything tailgating!  Be sure to visit their website and subscribe today!

Fans Against Violence Announces Partnership with Fam 1st Family Foundation

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Fans Against Violence Announces Partnership with Fam 1st Family Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Francisco, CA – August 28, 2013

In an effort to o put an end to violence “From the Streets..to the Stands”, Fans Against Violence is proud to announce their newest partnership with  Fam 1st Family Foundation and their SOS From Violence campaign(Save OurSelves from Violence) .

Fans Against Violence - SOS From ViolenceFans Against Violence (FAV) is a non-profit organization committed to keeping the stands safe while encouraging good-will and sportsmanship, and improving the overall game day experiences for fans of all ages in stadiums nationwide.

The Fam 1st Family Foundation, co-founded by Seattle Seahawks’ Runningback, Marshawn Lynch and Cincinnati Bengals’ QB, Josh Johnson is dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth in the Bay Area and throughout the United States. The foundation’s mission is one of empowerment and education ,aiming to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underprivileged youth.

The two organizations will work together to promote non-violence in communities nationwide targeting elementary, middle and high school age students. The emphasis for their collaboration will be a message of teamwork, sportsmanship and anti-bullying.

They are happy to announce that through this program, on Thursday, when the  Seahawks play the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field, they will be bringing children from the local, Boys & Girls Clubs of King County and the Juanita Junior Football Program to the game.  The children will also have the opportunity, after the game to go on the field and meet Marshawn Lynch. An amazing experience for ANY football fan

The Juanita Junior Football Program is a part of the Greater Eastside Junior Football Association.  They have 17 “clubs” in the league for a total of 145 teams.  The players range in age from 7-14.

Join us at the game, and help FAV & Fam1stFamily  put an end to Violence “From the Streets..to the Stands”

A special thank you to the Seattle Seahawk organization for helping to make this event possible!

ESPN Outside the Lines Fan Violence Episode – Fans Against Violence

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Sundays during football season tend to place media focus on the match-ups, the players, the injury reports, the spreads and the action on the field. So little is said about what takes place off of the field- particularly in the stands, in the parking lots and on stadium premises. Outside the Lines gives us a look at the dangers of fan violence, the impact it has on its victims and the need to create safer environments in which fans can enjoy the experience of a football game. The necessity of advocacy groups such as Fans Against Violence is also stressed, and Outside the Lines features Kathy Samoun at the opening Raiders game against the San Diego Chargers, promoting FAV’s cause on foot and encouraging fans of both teams to be welcoming and respectful towards one another. Also interviewed is Aaron Curry of the Oakland Raiders, who is a supporter of FAV and the fight against violence. Raising awareness and exposing people to the seriousness of this issue is a great step towards lessening the number of incidents and attacks reported each week, and we are glad ESPN is shining some light on it.

In case you missed yesterday’s airing of “Outside the Lines, ” here are some highlights from this week’s episode.

Fan Violence in Sport by Robb Silverstein – San Jose State

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We recently spoke with Robb Silverstein who was writing a paper on Fan Violence for a class called “Sports in America”. Robb is 4th year student at San Jose State studying Public Relations with a minor in Business Management. He is a huge sports fan who has always had a passion for sports.

Robb was kind enough to include Fans Against Violence in his paper and allow us to share it with you.

Fan Violence in Sport

~By Robb Silverstein – May 14, 2012

Robb SilversteinAn issue that has been a constant in North American sport is the problem of fan violence. This has been an issue particularly in contact sports such as football, hockey and baseball. Some of the main issues surrounding fan violence include team identification, consumption of alcohol at arena’s, the bad economy and the moral panic of the media just to name a few. As the text points out the word fan is short for fanatic. As we all know fanatics are not usually a good thing. Fans are flocking to stadiums and arenas and setting attendance records and according to an article on fan violence by USA today, NFL stadiums averaged 25 ejections and 3 arrests per week (Klemko,2011). Football is not the only sport that has a major problem with this. The NHL and MLB have also run into problems with violence. Pro sports aren’t the only culprit though. According to the National Summit on Civil Disturbances, sporting events account for over 25 percent of event disturbances on college campuses (Gordon et all 2005).

In the following paper I will present reasons why this violence is happening. This will occur through tons of research on the specific issues, which lead to fan violence. Sources that will be used include scholarly journals, newspaper articles, and the class text. Books and interviews with fan violence awareness org’s. All of the above will examine the problem and specifically North American sport fan violence.

The first issue that I will be discussing in regards to fan violence is team identification. According to a piece in Asian Journal of Management and Humanity Sciences, team identification is defined as “the personal commitment and emotional involvement customers have with a sport team.” (Shiue Gau et all 2009).The same piece talks about the social identity theory, which relates to team identification and says that identifying with a group enhances a persons self esteem because of the personal meaning and value that comes from belonging to or associating with a particular group. As Paul Greenwood, who published a study on sport fan team identification for his masters thesis at North Carolina State points out, this identification can take an ugly turn when the team you identify with loses. Greenwood says that “after witnessing a loss, fans with high identification levels look for external attributes in an effort to protect their self-esteem, and aggression is generally directed at officials and opposing players and/or fans which can lead to spectator violence.” (Greenwood,2001).

Winning and losing plays a big role in fan violence, to think of it in a very simple way. People are happy when their team wins. The opposite holds true when their team loses. While riots still happen when wins occur, the actual issue of fan vs. fan violence usually has to deal with who wins and loses. Jerry Middleton Lewis touches on this in his book Sports Fan Violence in North America. Lewis says that that the victory experience is the ultimate form of sports fan identification. He also adds that the typical violent fan wants to be part of the victory, yet they cant do any of the things that they see their favorite players doing on the court. However, they do know how to be violent. Violence gives some fans the ability to feel almost as if they are doing their part for the team) Middleton Lewis, 2001).

Celebratory violence can also be a factor to team identification. Goodtherapy.org, a leading therapist organization, wrote a piece on how celebratory violence increases fan identification, describes this as the celebration of a teams victory and how the results are destruction of property through rioting. The study found that people who had participated in this type of behavior had higher fan identification than those who had not (Goodtherapy.org,2011).

Besides team identification, another factor that leads to fan violence is the over consumption of alcohol at sporting events. The class text highlights this in the section on fan violence. The text says that a way to limit fan violence would be to decreases the amount of alcohol sold at games, that seems unlikely to happen so for now it is important to understand how much of a problem alcohol is when it comes to fan violence. (Eitzen & Sage, 2009)

To do just that, I start with presenting an article from the League of Fans. The League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to encourage social & civic responsibility in the sports industry. In the article, Ken Reed, states that alcohol is usually the number one reason for fan violence. “Alcohol is by far the biggest problem when it comes to fan safety at stadiums and arenas. The vast majority of these incidents involve alcohol abuse.” (Reed,2011) Reed goes on to say that it all starts even before the game starts in the parking lot and teams and leagues.

In terms of specific cases, Brendan McCarthy wrote an article for the Times-Picayune, New Orleans main newspaper, on the problem of fan violence and just how bad it is becoming. In the piece he mentions the recent sexual assault of an unconscious Louisiana State university fan by an Alabama fan following the championship between those two teams. In the article he interviews Jason Lanter, assistant professor of psychology at Kutztown University. Lanter says that alcohol and the elation of winning gives fans the idea that they have the right to miss-behave. Both teams’ fans were intoxicated and while you cant only blame alcohol, it clearly made things a lot worse in this case (McCarthy,2012).

Besides the issues of team identification and violence, another factor for fan violence is the economy. I interviewed Kathy Samoun, the founder of fansagainstviolence.org. Samoun started the organization after the Brian Stow attack at Dodger Stadium and the 49ers-Raiders preseason game violence, to raise awareness for a problem that is as big as ever. In the interview Samoun says that people need something to feel hopeful about, and sports like football, are one thing many people can relate to even if they are struggling financially. She pointed out that there is an increase in violence when teams lose and the horrible economy just puts an even stronger emphasis on the desire to win.(Samoun,2012). The USA Today article mentioned earlier also touched on this. In the article Charles Williams a professor of Psychology at Drexel University says that people are looking to escape the lack of money and jobs by going to sporting events. The combination of the bad economy and rising ticket prices is not a good one when it comes to the impact of violence at sporting events. (Klemko,2011)

The 2nd factor that that Samoun discussed was the media’s role in all of this. One would think that media coverage and exposure to the issue would be a good thing, but Samoun argued that is not the case. She said that it’s a double edge sword. People are so on edge now when they attend a sporting event, afraid at the first “boo” from someone that they are reacting quicker out of fear that they will also be attacked. Samoun and her organization aren’t alone in this line of thinking. Russell Ward Jr. published a study in Science Direct that agreed. It compared and contrasted the idea of social problem vs. moral panic. Moral panics, which are “righteous appeals from the media that something must be done to extinguish a social menace.” (Ward,2012) Ward described examples of fan violence coverage by the media as over the top and exaggerates and makes the problem much worse. His main point was that this raises emotions when the best approach would be actual thinking.

Sporting events are supposed to be fun. Fan violence has ruined games for tons of people. As noted earlier, some reform actions are under way. One particular idea that would be effective comes from California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles). According to the Sf Weekly, Gatto is drafting legislation that would ban fans from games that participated in acts of violence at sporting events. This would look similar to the no-fly list. They would also face severer jail time and a fine (Sherbert,2012).

To look at how specific teams are trying to crack down on this happening at their stadium I bring in an article in the Wall Street Journal on what the 49ers did before their playoff game verse the Giants. Earlier in the season the 49ers had had major problems with violence at games. Well for this playoff game, the article says that the 49ers handled things much differently. For one, they banned tailgating after kickoff. This obviously leads to less people becoming belligerent. The 49ers also increased security by 25 percent and let fans know the week of the game that cops would be dressed as Giants fans. This strategy ended up working considering the 49ers lost a heart-breaker and the number of incidents decreased (Carlton, 2012).

To conclude, it is important to be aware of the problem of fan violence at sporting events. It is a shame that anyone would not go to a game due to violence but you can’t blame anyone who does so, given the high number of arrests and violence at games. The media as shown, needs to do there job to not sensationalize the issue but cover it in a balanced matter. Teams have their role in this as well. As cases like the 49ers –Giants game show, if teams are organized and work to stop this it can be done. Issues like high team identification and even a bad economy don’t have to lead to violence if teams continue to strive to stop fan violence.

BaseballintheBlood.com – On The Phone With…Fans Against Violence

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We recently had a great phone interview with Todd Coppernoll of Baseball in the Blood. Below is an excerpt from the interview and article about Fans Against Violence.
To read the full article please visit BaseballintheBlood.com.

Shootings and Savage Beatings…at the Ballpark

On The Phone With…Fans Against Violence

~By Todd Coppernoll-May 18, 2012

Baseball in the BloodOver the past year, fan violence at U.S. sporting events has received heightened media attention. The savage beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium, is causing many to take a second look at what is “acceptable” behavior in the stands.
Last August, the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Oakland Raiders for a preseason NFL game at Candlestick Park. Following the game, three fans were hospitalized…two had been shot, and the third had been beaten unconscious in a stadium restroom.
In September, Kathy Samoun, who is a Raiders fan, founded “Fans Against Violence.” read full article..

RaiderNationTimes.com -Interview with Fans Against Violence

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We recently were interview by Elias Trejo of the Raider Nation Times.  Below is an excerpt from the interview and the great article on Fans Against Violence.

To read the full article please visit RaiderNationTimes.com.

Fans Against Violence: Taking Back the Stands and Promoting Fan Safety

~By Elias Trejo-May 13, 2012

Growing up as a an Oakland Raiders fan I always heard a lot about how “violent” and “scary” Raiders fans were. I still remember going to my first Raiders game with my wife and having people from all over warning me about going to the games and making sure I’m safe. I even had a cousin offer me a weapon, because he heard how bad it can get in Alameda. Needless to say, I’ve gone to several Raiders games and not once have I seen an incident where violence occurred.

Of course that doesn’t mean there is not a problem with violence at sporting events. You read about violence breaking out at sporting events and in some instances the violence escalates to fans being brutally hurt and in some cases killed. Sports are one of the nation’s and the world’s favorite past times and no one should ever feel unsafe while attending an event. I had the opportunity to speak to Kathy Samoun, the founder of F.A.V, Fans Against Violence, and was impressed by her passion and dedication towards making sure fans take the stands back and stand up against violence. read full article..

SportsZoneMedia.com-Article on James Mohr Fundraiser

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Below is the excerpt from SportsZoneMedia.com article regarding the upcoming Fundraiser for the James Mohr Foundation sponsored by Fans Against Violence.  We’d like to thank SportsZoneMedia.com and KC Dermody for spreading the word about this great fundraiser!

To view the entire article, please visit SportsZoneMedia.com

Brutally Beaten New York Jets Fan Recovering Slowly: How You Can Help

~By K.C.Dermody-May, 06, 2012

Fortunately Mohr won the fight of his life but he’s been left with vision problems and residual effects of his brain injuries as well as a massive amount of bills.

Fans Against Violence, a group that is working to help to end violence at sporting events across the nation, reports that Mohr’s “multiple operations were not covered through his insurance company,” and between his endless doctors visits, co-payments, prescriptions and commute expenses to and from New Jersey, it’s a huge financial burden.

Not only has Mohr and his family been put through extreme emotional distress, but the bills are overwhelming. In order to help alleviate some of their stress, a fundraising event will take place in Bayside, New York next weekend at Strawberry’s Bar and Grill from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on May 12, 2012. read full article..

RaiderNationTimes.com ‘s Captain Jack Rack ‘em Levy on Fans Against Violence

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In this fun Raider Nation Times article, Captain Jack Rack ‘em Levy gives his unique and colorful “swords up” view on Fans Against Violence. We’d like to thank both Raider Nation Times and Captain Jack for this fun article. If you’re a Raider Fan, be sure to check out their site at www.raidernationtimes.com

RaiderNationTimes.com -Fans Against Violence – Can’t We All Just Get Along?

~By Captain Jack Rack ‘em Levy-April, 27, 2012

It’s early Wednesday morning as I write this, the Captain having completed his night of work and the Raiders (likely) able to skip the first night of Festivities for the NFL Draft of 2012. I’m not like many people who are ‘day walkers’ on this earth, as I prefer working eves/nights to get away from many of the ‘anal retentive folks’ one usually has to deal with during a day … or folks you’d prefer to throw out a window for being a pain in your toucas…

Oakland Raiders Captain Jack

Oakland Raiders ~Captain Jack Rack 'em Levy

Wow, talk about a spot on segue, as it IS a bit early to talk about whom the Raiders have drafted…since by the time this gets posted to the ‘net (and barring any unforeseen and/or unlikely scenarios) the Raiders will STILL be waiting to see whom is available with the 95th pick of the draft.

… Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… what to write about this week… when all of a sudden my topic gets almost literally dumped into the Captain’s lap through the IM of one Kathy Samoun, an avid fan and staunch supporter of the Silver and Black I know via some ‘Social Network’ known as Facebook (you may have heard of it…)

Kathy and I start to chat immediately after I’ve given my daily ‘Happy Birthday wishes’ to all friends on the site, where she directs my attention to one of the charitable endeavors she is sponsoring via her organization “F.A.V.” – Fans Against Violence (whom you probably have NOT heard about, until now). read full article..

Yahoo!Sports-Oakland Raiders Doing Great Things for the Local Community: Fan Reaction

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Yet again we are very proud to share with you an article which mentions Fans Against Violence.

On Saturday, April 28,2012, the Oakland Raiders announced their newest program to assist Oakland Public Schools. This program, and the charitable efforts of players and Oakland Raider fans are the subject of this great article posted today on Yahoo! Sports. We are very honored to be included in this article with details such amazing community efforts.

Below is an excerpt from the article by K.C.Dermody that mentions FAV. To view the entire article, please visit Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo!Sports-Oakland Raiders Doing Great Things
for the Local Community: Fan Reaction

~By K.C.Dermody-April, 30, 2012

Of course Oakland fans themselves are rather big givers in the community and beyond. Kathy Samoun is a life long Raider fan who started the non-profit organization, “Fans Against Violence.” Her group aims to improve and enhance game day experiences at professional sports venues in the Bay Area and across the nation.

I feel very fortunate to be part of such a caring group of people, just another reason to be proud to be a member of the Raider Nation. read full article..