Wednesday, September 12, 2007

UK Kicks Around Fans

It's amazing how if you choose the right words to describe someone, you can justify anything. The UK is looking to restrict free speech, penalize people for breaking their own property, and disallowing them from buying and selling things. Sounds bad? It's ok: it's to stop "hooligans," or people who really enjoy sporting events.

Granted, sometimes those activities can lead to punishable offenses. But restricting them in general? Could prevent that nasty stuff, but it's just as likely (if not more so) to give the police a way to push everyone around.


Anonymous said...

Does the phrase, "You can't yell FIRE in a crowded theater" mean anything? The free speech you're talking about are sectarian chants. This is in the orange/green part of the world. It's like selling miniskirts in Iran. If you do it you're looking to cause trouble.

And what about the players? Buying a ticket doesn't mean you get to verbally abuse and physically attack the players. What they want to stop goes way beyond heckling. It's misleading to claim it's free speech. By the same logic burning a cross in front of a gay black man's house is also protected speech.

What about the other spectators? Hooligans are ruining the game for other people who bought tickets. How would you feel if someone yakked on their cell phone during a movie you paid good money for?

"Mr Poots said he wants offenses created around pitch invasions, offensive chanting, missile throwing and bringing bottles, flares or fireworks into grounds."
Are you saying threats, assaults, and arson should be protected under free speech?


David said...

I don't see how calling someone names shouldn't be allow. Just because it makes a person feel sad doesn't mean we should ban it. Otherwise, we'll never have free speech. None of the things Poots mentioned were arson or assaults, unless you want to start treating flag burning as arson and arguing with politicians as treason.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see how calling someone names shouldn't be allow."
It's called disrupting the game and fan interference. Both of which can affect the outcome of the game.

"None of the things Poots mentioned were arson or assaults"
Throwing things at the players is assault. Setting off fireworks can lead to arson.

"unless you want to start treating flag burning as arson"
Who cares about flag burning? I'm more concerned about the players and other fans.


David said...

I'm no sports fan but I know enough that fans feel that "participation" is part of the fun of the game. That's one of the reasons they go to the game instead of watching it on TV. If a stadium doesn't like it, they can make rules for just their stadium. But Poots is making the rules for everyone.

Poots was angry that people are throwing things, not throwing them at someone; there's already laws against that (as their should be). Setting off a firework can lead to arson, but driving can lead to vehicular homicide. The question is not what it could be, but what it is.

If you want to claim because one act could lead to another, more harmful one, you have to prepare yourself for being consistent. In your world, flag burning, driving, parties involving alcohol, and a myriad of other things would have to be banned.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a sports fan either but I'm pretty sure there's nothing on the ticket saying you can "participate". You have to admit throwing beer bottles at the players, on the field or off, is unreasonable.

As for Poots making rules for everyone, that's exactly what he should do. Everyone gets treated equally. Isn't that the libertarian way? Otherwise things get out of hand. Businesses self-regulating themselves on an individual basis don't usually turn out well.

I think your comparison between fireworks and cars is unreasonable since the standards for getting a license to shoot fireworks is much stronger than for cars and with good reason. That is unless you think public safety is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

You're a stupid fucking asshole, a hypocrite, and a liar. And if you feel sad now, imagine if I were shouting it in your ear.

P.S. Your brother feels the same way.