The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders played their traditional Bay Area rivalry exhibition game this past weekend but unfortunately, there was more action off the field than on it.

The 49ers won the game 17-3, but the game was marred by multiple fights in the stands and a pair of shootings in the Candlestick parking lot, leaving two victims in serious condition.

A 26-year-old man was knocked unconscious in an upper level bathroom between 7:15 and 7:30. He was taken to the hospital suffering from life-threatening injuries. Police are still searching for the suspect in the beating described as a Samoan/Pacific Islander man, 25-30 years old, between 6’ 3” and 6’ 5”, weighing 225 to 260 pounds. He had a goatee and long curly hair tied in a ponytail and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

Later that evening, two shooting victims were found in the stadium parking lot. Police are still trying to figure out if the incidents are connected. A 24-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries and another suffered non life-threatening injuries.

As of Monday, both victims conditions were upgraded to serious.

Here are two videos of other skirmishes in the stands and parking lot.  Warning: They are violent and there is some inappropriate language used in the videos.

This is just the latest act of violence at a sporting event and my question is, will it ever stop? The term fan itself is short for fanatic, but I always thought that meant being a sports fanatic. I’ve been to plenty of games rooting for the road team and cheering them on as loud as I could. I have gotten into arguments before with fans of the opposite team. But it never got to the point where I wanted to fight someone or get physical. It was just good-natured ribbing back and forth.

The worst part about all this unnecessary violence is that it can really ruins a child’s love of the game. It’s hard enough to explain some of the stupid things athletes do, like getting arrested, going on a verbal tirade or not adhering to a contract. Now, sporting events have become an unsafe place to take kids. How are they supposed to fall in love with these same teams and games that we fell in love with as kids?

Both teams and NFL officials said they are working to make things safer so that fans can enjoy their experiences when going to games.



Photo Credit: YF12s, via Wikimedia Commons