During the tightly contested game last week, rival Arizona State fans exhibited a concerning level of hostility towards a lone Colorado Buffaloes fan in their home stadium. Take heed Arizona Wildcats fans.
In a recent college football game between Arizona State University (ASU) and the Colorado Buffaloes on October 7th, 2023, an unfortunate incident unfolded that raised questions about fan behavior, safety, and the need for a more welcoming and respectful atmosphere in sports.
The ASU students, in the Sun Devil Student Section, berated the Colorado fan with verbal abuse and went as far as throwing water bottles when ASU lost the lead, creating an intimidating and uncomfortable environment.
The situation escalated to a point where the safety of the Colorado fan was compromised. To protect him from the wrath of the Sun Devil fans, stadium authorities had to intervene and escort him out of the section. This incident is not an isolated one, as the reputation of ASU fans for their sometimes brutal treatment of opposing fans, especially those of the rival Arizona Wildcats, precedes them.
If you are interested in watching the end of the aftermath of the abusive incidents you can watch HERE. Note, the Colorado fan pulled punches, or at least one big punch on the ASU fan we would assume threw water bottles at him.
Disturbing accounts of harassment and aggression towards Arizona Wildcats fans by ASU supporters have emerged over the years. One can’t help but recall the shocking stories relayed by college football fans, such as a grandmother and her grandson who subjected Wildcats fans to relentless verbal abuse during a game, or the unfortunate incidents where Wildcats fans, both women, were reportedly punched in the face by Sun Devil fans on separate occasions.
The concerning part is that these accounts are not isolated and have a chilling effect on the college football experience for many. It’s not unusual to hear media warnings against wearing UofA gear at ASU games, citing the potential physical danger that such attire may attract.
The question then becomes, what should be done in this scenario? It’s a multifaceted issue that calls for action on multiple fronts:
1. Fan Education: Both colleges and athletic organizations must take active steps to educate their fan base about sportsmanship and the importance of respectful behavior towards opposing fans. Promoting a culture of inclusivity and civility is essential.
2. Enhanced Security Measures: Stadiums need to implement stricter security measures to prevent the kind of harassment and violence seen in these incidents. This includes monitoring fan behavior, enforcing clear policies, and acting swiftly to address disturbances.
3. Fan Reporting Mechanisms: Encouraging fans to report incidents of abuse or harassment can be a valuable tool in ensuring a safer environment for all attendees. This would enable swift intervention and the identification of individuals responsible for inappropriate behavior.
4. Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Collaboration with local law enforcement is crucial. Authorities should be ready to respond promptly to any incidents and take appropriate legal action against individuals who engage in violence or harassment.
5. Cultural Change: Ultimately, it’s about creating a cultural shift within the fan base. Fans must understand that passionate support for their team should not come at the expense of the safety and well-being of others.
College football is meant to be a source of entertainment and community spirit, not a platform for hostility and danger. The incidents at the ASU vs. Colorado game are a stark reminder that steps must be taken to ensure that everyone, regardless of their allegiance, can enjoy the game in a secure and respectful atmosphere. It’s time to tackle this issue head-on and make the college football experience a safer and more welcoming one for all fans.
If you attend an ASU football game in Arizona Wildcats gear, please stay safe and keep a watchful eye out. Tempe, Arizona seems to be “Enemy” territory indeed.