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Bill seeks ban for violent fans

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Loudmouths. Hooligans. Idiots.

Whatever you want to call them, we all know them when we see them at sporting events. Some of them are amusing, others are flat-out dangerous.

A California lawmaker wants to take the violence out of the stands at sporting events by creating a “ban list” of violent fans known to start trouble in the stands. Assemblyman┬áMike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) sponsored the bill, in part in response to the near-fatal beating of Bryan Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot last April.

Fans convicted of a felony at a pro sports game would be banned for five years. Second felony? 10 years. Third? 25 years in the ultimate penalty box.

Banned fans caught at a game could face one year in the clink and a $10,000 fine.

The bill would not apply to college, minor league or even high school events.

Under the bill, the state Attorney General would be authorized to distribute a list of names and photos on a statewide list of banned fans. Teams would have to cough up $10,000 to participate and create a reward fund for crime witnesses.

Verbal harassment or even beer-tossing is not covered under the bill. Only felons would be restricted under the current proposal.

Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore) questioned the logic of the bill to the Sac Bee:

“I don’t feel that we, with a straight face, can say that one violent felon is OK but another is not.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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