The statistics regarding violence at school and other amateur sporting events have been cited regularly in the media — yet violence at those events continues unabated. A bench-clearing melee at a college football game on November 20, 2004, served as an exclamation point to the horrendous violence involving spectators and players at an NBA basketball game on November 19th. The television re-runs of the incident, and the action taken by the NBA against the offending players, speaks for itself. It is time for every parent, if not every prospective spectator of an organized athletic event, to consider the wisdom of attending contests that have become as much about the egos of the fans as about the players.
Decades ago, I attended the funeral for six-year-old Adam Walsh, who had been abducted from a Florida department store while his mother was shopping close by. The case remains an open homicide in Hollywood, FL, almost 23 years, later despite the efforts of Adam’s father, television personality, John Walsh (“America’s Most Wanted”) to have his son’s killer brought to justice.