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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Philly Class

Have you ever been to a sporting event and found yourself in the uncomfortable situation of being close to drunk and disorderly fan(s)? This past week at a Philadelphia Phillies-Washington Nationals game, Michael Vangelo and his 15-year-old daughter were in for a long day at the ballpark.

Throughout the game Vangelo, an off-duty police captain, tolerated the belligerent actions of two young men, who were seated just behind he and his daughter. Initially, it was not Vangelo, but his daughter who felt that enough was enough. Turning around, she asked the fans to please stop. Shortly after, the disorderly conduct started again and escalated. One of the fans began spitting, landing several on Vangelo’s daughter.

Finally, security stepped in and an officer escorted the spitter from his seat and out of the stadium. Upset by what had transpired, Matthew Clemmons, the spitter’s friend, felt that he needed to act on his behalf. Clemmons, 21, of Cherry Hill, N.J., announced that he was feeling sick. He began to stick two fingers down his throat and proceeded to vomit on Vangelo and his daughter.

“It was the most vile, disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” said Vangelo.

Acting as quickly as possible, Vangelo tried to block his daughter from Clemmons attempt, receiving the blunt of the vomit. Clemmons also punched Vangelo in the face during the madness. Several fans and Vangelo tackled Clemmons, getting in punches of their own and held him to the ground until law enforcement arrived.

Clemmons was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and related offenses for the incident. He was held Friday on $36,000 bail.

This is just one example of the negative affects of alcohol being present at sporting events. It’s truly unfortunate that children are subjected to this reckless behavior. The sad thing is that these types of situations in the stands, as well as fan altercations with players, will continue to occur. The demand for alcohol is extremely high; thus allowing teams to charge awfully high prices for its consumption. The teams are also being paid an incredible amount of money for sponsorship rights. It's not going anywhere, any time soon.

How do we fix the problem? It’s simple; remove alcohol from sporting events. This will promote a family safe environment for all to enjoy. You don’t need alcohol to have a good time at a sporting event.

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