Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Go Ahead and Tase Him, Bro
Did he deserve it, or was it excessive force? That's been the big question for the past 24 hours or so, with the explosion of the story of a kid running onto the field at Citizens Bank Park during Monday night's Phillies/Cardinals game and proceeding to be given a torso full of taser by the cops. Media outlets of all shapes, sizes, locations, affiliations, and genres have since run with this issue in one way or another. Naturally, it is our obligation to weigh in while this story is apparently such a hot-button issue (or at least before the news cycle renders it an afterthought, likely by week's end).
The jackass deserved it. I don't want to hear crying from him, from his friends, his mom, the ACLU, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or whoever the hell else has an opinion. I don't want to hear it. It is made abundantly clear from the time you're about 4 years old that you don't belong out on the field during a game, and if you're stupid enough to run out there, then you have it coming to you. Above all else, there is a practical issue here, a matter of safety. Players, coaches, and officials stand out on the field in front of thousands of (possibly inebriated) spectators. To say they're somewhat exposed and/or vulnerable is not a stretch. Don't believe me? In recent years there have been not one, but two incidents of fans leaving the stands and attacking on-field participants, not to mention the famous Rick Monday incident in 1976. I don't care if everyone says this 17-year-old douche in Philly last night was just a harmless class clown. I'm sure that's all he is. But there's no way of knowing that when he comes charging out of his seat and darting around the outfield, resisting the apprehension of the cops.
There's more to it than the "protect the players, coaches, and umps from lunatics" angle. What gets me so riled up when someone pulls a such a stunt is that they refuse to understand it's not about them. There were nearly 45,000 people in the stadium that night, and they paid to see a game between arguably the two best teams in the National League, not to see a skinny kid with a gigantic nose run around. Sure, we all laugh and cheer if we're at a game and an idiot runs onto the field, but at least with me I get enjoyment out of seeing the guy get caught. Just like the "Don't tase me, bro!" moron that gained national fame a few years ago, anyone who runs out onto the field like that is trying to make themselves the spectacle instead of just minding their business and being a spectator. You want to be a spectacle? Then make a nice catch of a foul ball, or something, anything else that doesn't interfere with the game.
So, until next time, don't cry police brutality on this one. It's not like this guy was an innocent bystander that got the voltage from some asshole cop on a power trip, nor did they keep tasing the kid until his heart stopped. Once he was down, that was the end of it. He made the decision to run out onto the field, so let the consequences be what they may.