There is nothing more disgusting than a self-indulgent fan who thinks nothing of the tens of thousand of other fans in the stands or the millions watching on TV when he decides to interrupt the game by running out onto the field. I’ve seen it in person, and hated the delay, and on TV they cut away from the fan so it’s even more boring and time-consuming.
For decades this has been happening, and the result had always been the same: Security guards or police tackle the guy in center field, or on the 50 yard line. Wild cheers always greet the security guards when the fan is apprehended, and the fan is booed as he is “escorted” off the field.
Something changed yesterday in Philadelphia. Outnumbering the renegade fan by about six to one, a Philadelphia police officer chose not to tackle the guy, or surround him, or chase him off the field. Instead, he decided to use a taser on the fan. The 17-year-old fan who was playing hooky from high school. Not a robber. Not a burglar. Not a murder suspect. Certainly not a suspected terrorist. A 17-year-old high school kid on a ball field.
There is absolutely no justification for that to have happened, despite Philiadlphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey saying the officer “acted within department guidelines”, and despite the validation given this morning by the likes of ESPN’s First Take commentators.
Its annoying, its a pain, but its not a felony. Validation in Philadelphia, and it will become the standard law enforcement response across the country. That will be a big mistake.