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 Mike 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.”