Bill seeks ban for violent fans


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.”

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

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