Brawl left a major black eye

Published 6:49 pm Saturday, February 21, 2009

For anyone who turned on their televisions Wednesday morning and watched national portrayal of the fight during the Central Regional Tournament at Alabama State’s gym, it was probably hard not to feel a bit shamed.

It’s a black eye for every person in our state and something we should all take personally when violence of that magnitude takes place, especially at a sporting event that features children.

Thankfully, none of our local teams were playing at the time, but looking at the footage of the brawl, it is safe to say anyone in the gym could have been involved.

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Players turned on other players, and fans turned on fans. Since the fight supposedly started because players were unhappy that hard fouls were not called, it is fortunate no one assaulted a referee.

Hopefully, the coaches and parents of those players are evaluating what led to that behavior because it didn’t just spring up Tuesday afternoon.

Steve Savarese, executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, said the organization trusts fans to act in an acceptable manner. Hence, fans are not separated into sections during regional tournament games.

However, this is not about where people sit during athletic events.

It is about where they stand when it comes to respecting the rights and safety of others.