Sports And Safety

Yesterday I read an article about a wounded Marine who was taunted in a bar. I think you all know how I feel about Marines, all who serve and sacrifice, so of course I found this sad and reading it ticked me off.

The guy being accused appears to be a bully and as such is a bad guy. No excuse whatsoever for his behavior. My first thoughts were disgust and outrage. Still are, but while reading about the incident I came across this comment on…

“Go into “enemy territory” with another team’s jersey on… this is what will happen. Don’t like it, wear another fucking shirt.

The people fucking with him probably had no idea… and if they did, they were probably too drunk to care.

My wife is a huge Boston Bruins fan, loves to wear her Bruins garb to games.

When we go to games, we go to games in Boston. Why? Because I don’t want to get hit with fucking beers and batteries in the stands, or get into fights in restaurants after the game.

THAT is what it’s like out there kids. Shit, I had about 30 British guys looking to beat me senseless in Amsterdam once. Why? Because I had blonde hair, and the Brits had just beaten Germany in soccer.

(That’s no joke. It was a tense scene. The only thing that saved me was my American accent. When they heard it, they knew I was an American (who knew fuck-all about “football”) and they apologized and moved on.)

Not being a “sports guy,” I have limited experience in this area. However, from what I’ve seen over the years, sports tends to have a very “Nuremberg Rally” effect on people.

This is one (of many) reasons why I do not partake.

This sad episode, is one of those things that “situational awareness” could have prevented.

Just sayin’.”

Again, 100% I think this Marine as well as anyone else has a right o wear what they want and I think it is beyond idiotic for anyone to get that worked up about a sports team, or a political leader, or anything. The bully should be held accountable and I am glad the owner of the restaurant has apologized and is trying to make amends, but reading the above comment made me think of something I hadn’t when I first read the story.

In terms of personal protection, do you think about what you where before you go certain places?

20 thoughts on “Sports And Safety

  1. To be honest this is one of the many reasons I do not watch or have any interest whatsoever in professional sports. For one, money has taken over any “sport” aspect that once was. Also, it is my belief that most people today as a whole are as an intelligent as an earthworm. That sound harsh? Maybe, but look around you….granted, there are many many good and decent folks but it seems by and large any large gathering be it sports related or not has this element of, well…I don’t know for sure what to call it…egotisim. Personally, I think that restaurant or whatever it is ought to be blackballed. That said….talk about situational awareness on the part of the marine….hmmmmm. As long as I’m on my soapbox…..I can’t understand this “thing” where someone says so and so is a great sportsman when all he/she does is sit on their ass and are just a spectator. All in all this article does point out just what humanity has/is becoming….a bunch of lemmings.

    • So husband has a team and he wears the garb. Of course, he isn’t an idiot, so he is fine, but neither of us have thought about the dangers in him publicaly wearing such items.

  2. “In terms of personal protection, do you think about what you where before you go certain places??

    You damn right.

    My personal motto is, “Wherever bad sh…er… stuff is happening, be somewhere else.”

    This used to be just a general guideline, now it’s almost a law for me. When you pack heat going to places where bad stuff happens can easily escalate to a situation where you might very well end up killing someone. I can’t imagine why I’d want to risk that if I don’t have to.

  3. I have written about being a “Mall Ninja” meaning that when you walk into a mall you should be invisible and look just like everyone else. Camo or 5.11 gear in a suburban mall is no less out of place than a suit in a tree stand.

    So yeah, I always try to blend to the point that even compliments are unwanted.

    • Good point! I am the same way about compliments. Any attention from strangers is unwanted by me. It’s why I don’t like to drive my husband’s sport car. I drove it once and received much to much attention and “compliments” when I stopped to get gas.

  4. +1 on Curt’s comment. I don’t wear sports apparel at all. I try to be anonymous in a crowd. And if I have any doubts, I don’t go there…

  5. First, let me say how appalling I found the behavior of the belligerents. Nothing, nothing at all excuses what they did. I am ashamed as an American of what they put that hero Marine through and as a veteran I hope Karma comes calling. I am boiling at the moment. Everyone, especially a wounded Marine should be able to go where they want wearing absolutely anything they want with no fear of consequences.

    But that’s not the reality is it? There are places in America where you run the risk of being shot simply for wearing the colors red or blue. Happens literally every day. I’ve been to a Raiders game at the Coliseum in Oakland. I’ll never go back. A rival fan takes their lives in their own hands for wearing the wrong colors. It’s gang behavior. No different than that of any street gang you care to name.

    Here’s what I used to tell the groups I gave talks to. Is it worth your life? Is going to that bar or yelling at the guy who just cut you off in traffic or getting the parking space that’s 10 feet closer to the mall doors before that jerk steals it worth dying for? Because that’s a more common result than any of us should be comfortable with. It’s also a fact of life.

    I hear it all the time. It’s cowardice to avoid and back down. Total BS. It’s just good common sense and if you ever do have to defend yourself with a gun it’s also an important defense against charges that you were the aggressive one. Recognition and avoidance are the first lines of defense. Burying one’s head in the sand and shouting “No one disrespects/insults me!” is a surefire way to find yourself in a no win situation.

    We are become a society where ‘Flying Colors’ is both routine and often subconscious. Where anyone not on “My Team” is an enemy. It’s not just the Bloods or Nuestra Familia or Hells Angels who self identify by the clothing they wear. We all do it from time to time at least. Being aware and taking steps to avoid coming into conflict with others looking for an excuse to identify you as an “Other” is wisdom.

    I hate it and a part of me would welcome the chance to draw my line in the sand and dare those who act in such a way to ‘come and get some.’ But we are the civilized and as such we understand where the true lines lay, beyond which no one may cross. Being aware of the messages you are sending and avoiding them when appropriate should be in every self defense tool box.

    • I know. I struggled with how to ask this question because I didn’t want anyone thinking I was excusing this behavior or blaming the Marine. I actually had someone accuse me of making fun of a wounded person before. Clearly, someone who doesn’t read my blog or was just trying to cause problems, but anyway, that bully is disgusting and made me angry as well.

      Good points…thank you!

  6. This is one of the many reasons I don’t pay attention to sports. That opinion was sealed while I was at UW and someone made a derogatory comment about my later to be wife who was wearing a marching band uniform for WSU (the rival school). I promptly made a very brash and abusive comment and looked right at him.

    Note I was wearing a UW sweatshirt so he was basically going to have to attack one of his own. I had some other friends around who did go to the game, I merely showed up after it was over to pick up Janelle and give her a ride home.

    The asshole’s buddies drug him off, probably for the better. If he had swung I probably wouldn’t have stopped until he was dead. Two days earlier my father had passed away, I wasn’t going to take any shit from anyone.

    I hate the bullshit with a passion. I would wear my UW sweatshirt while at WSU during Apple Cup week just to piss people off. Most in the engineering and sciences didn’t care. I used it as confirmation that there are parts of humanity I honestly wouldn’t care if they disappeared from the face of the planet.

    That said, this establishment failed in it’s handling of the situation. You throw out the provoking party. Barring that you throw them both out. Leaving the bully in the restaurant while throwing out the basically the victim was a tactical mistake. If I lived in the area, it would be black balled from my patronage until he made amends.

    Honestly the paper should name “the fan” and shame him. We know the name of the disrespected Marine he claims was abusive to him, so why doesn’t he step up and stand behind his actions? Oh that’s right because now that it’s news he knows he’s the asshole…

    !@#$ I hate people some times.

    • I am so glad your on my side:)

      The paper did name the fan and it looked like it was going to get dry ugly for that “fan” I can’t say I agree with the threats being made against him, but yeah…

  7. Absolutely. Further, I believe in being truly invisible or at least, unremarkable, unrecognizable, and eminently forgettable. It is never good to be the pink monkey in the land of brown monkeys.

  8. I do avoid the Maggie Thatcher hairdo at a Sons of Erin Meeting, and the Dinasaur Comics “I’m Made of Meat” t-shirt at the PETA gatherings.

    So yes, I’m aware.

    Good points you brought up, Things we should all think about.

  9. I agree with Six, and to some degree or another all of these posts. I personally lack the team sports gene and don’t follow any of them. I don’t have a favorite team and have not been to an organized team sporting event (football, basketball, baseball, soccer etc.) in more than 20 years which makes my avoidance of such events easy. However, I have friends and relatives who occasionally try to get me to “go out” to a game or concert or large public party gathering with them. I always decline, to my own detriment at times I am sure. However, even if I did like sports, I would be very hesitant to advertise that fact through my choice of clothing, decals on my vehicle or outward expression, especially in “unfriendly territory.”

    Long ago I swore off most public venues such as clubs, concerts and sports arenas as unmanageable tactical environments. I sit with my back to the wall when dining in public, have refused to enter buildings with friends because I did not know the interior layout and the situation seemed a bit murky to me, and have gotten up and left otherwise normal events because I got a bad “vibe.” Admittedly some of this came from certain career choices I’ve made, but mostly it came from my utter faith in the all too common bottom dwelling violent throw down instinct of your average mindless sports fan, booze besotted club rat and failed adolescent adults who seem drawn to such venues. Or, more correctly, have been socialized to believe that such behavior is acceptable and normal. They are also, whether knowingly or not, drawn to an activity where a higher than normal percentage of the participants are little more than highly paid thugs who without their specific skills might have otherwise had a career making license plates or modular furniture at a state run facility.

    Now I’m sure many of you are screaming at your monitor that you love sports/music/raves/frat parties; regularly attend major sports venues/clubs/keggers; and, you are nothing like what I have described. And neither was Corporal Carnes. All he did was wear a jersey from his favorite team into a place where people who apparently fit the above description took notice, then offense and ultimately acted on their lack of social skills. The result a wounded hero and his family were verbally attacked and by all accounts almost physically attacked. Over a shirt. This could have been avoided in two ways. Don’t go to the restaurant or don’t wear the shirt. It is sad we have to make such choices, but we do. There are parts of my town I won’t go to unarmed in the daylight and never at night because it is too much for the locals to just leave others in their territory alone. I make it easy and stay away.

    One last thing before I step off my soap box. I take all the precautions above not only to protect myself and my family, but to avoid being put into a situation I must respond to with force. Not because I can’t, but because I can. Like many if not all of you, I am rarely unarmed and so I know I have the ability, if the situation gets too far along, to put up the ultimate resistance and I really don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be a victim (hence the firearms and tactical awareness) but I don’t do well in small spaces and being told when, where and what I can do which is a real possibility if a jury determines I was wrong. So I limit the places I go and fly under the radar in others to avoid that possibility. If I am out and potential trouble finds me where I can’t defuse or avoid it I practice my martial arts in order of preference: Nike-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu and ultimately Gun-Do. The first and, rarely, the second have kept me from needing the third for a very long time.

    • Your last paragraph was a topic of conversation here. I was thinking the same thing. If I intervened knowing I had a gun underneath my coat, I wonder how that would play out.

  10. Good Post!
    A couple of things came to mind:
    Col. Cooper always stated fashion shouldn’t dictate what clothes one wears. He was speaking of being ‘in-style’, losing out to the ability to properly conceal a service pistol on one’s person. He obviously wasn’t considering the gang-color mentality.
    And Mas Ayoob spoke of ‘if the bar in which you drink requires possession/carrying of a lethal weapon’, perhaps it was time to consider a safer venue.
    Not exactly the point of the post, but factors involved in what one wears and where one wears it!

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