clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

West Ham fan runs onto pitch, everyone freaks out

New, comment

This would barely be news if it wasn’t West Ham

West Ham United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The tweets were a bit silly. “A West Ham fan trying to attack the Chelsea players as they celebrated”

And the headlines were no less silly “Intruder confronts Chelsea players on pitch at London Stadium.” [ESPNFC.com]

So some muppet made it onto the pitch and was quickly hauled off by stewards. It’s not the first time in the history of professional sports that a “fan” was able to “defeat” security and run onto the field of play.

So fans run onto the field during NFL games all the time. At no time are they called “invaders” or that they were looking to “attack” the players from the other team. But since its West Ham United, and it’s the first game that Chelsea have played in the London Stadium since the “professional stewards” let the fan clashes get out of hand the last time the two teams played at the London Stadium, it’s going to be a lazy story for people to write. Those out of control West Ham fans, shame on them.

A single fan can do a stupid thing at an American sporting event, and no one bats an eye. A grand total of three people were arrested at the West Ham game Monday night against Chelsea , including the idiot who ran onto the pitch. That idiot is now looking at a lifetime ban from all football grounds in the UK.

What you don’t hear about in the press, especially in the US, is the number of fans arrested during NFL games. An average of over six arrests per game are reported in the NFL, with the Chargers, Jets, and Giants all reporting over 20 arrests a game. Of course, with the NFL controlling the negative press about the fan violence at NFL games, the issue is almost ignored. This isn’t the only problem the NHL has with violence, the league has domestic violence issues that veer from embarrassing to horrifying.

Writing stories about some “fan” of the club doing something stupid is lazy journalism. The dark days of hooliganism is always at the back of the mind of journalists and the press in the UK, and so anytime a club like Chelsea or West Ham has trouble, the stereotypes about football fans are too easy to resist. Have there been problems at the London Stadium? Of course. Has West Ham taken action? Of course they have. Do they have a ways to go? Maybe, but the real problems are not some lone guy running onto the pitch. If it wasn’t West Ham and wasn’t at the new stadium against Chelsea, it barely would have made the news.