Monday, April 11, 2011

How to respond to violence

At the game I went to, the Giants had special guests. The wife and children of Brian Stow attended the game. Brian had meant to be there, but two thugs disguised as Dodger fans, beat and kicked Brian Stow, int he Dodger parking lot, until he as so injured, he was put in a drug induced coma to save his life. They say, he has brain damage.

He has two small children. his son 12 years old and his daughter 8. His daughter plays softball and his son loves Lacrosse and football. They say he looks just like Brian and that he is 12 going on 25. They knew how much their father loved the Giants. He loved the Giants so much, for his "time off" after working 60 hour weeks, he decided to go to opening day in LA. He spent a week in Arizona at Spring Training. He... was a fan.

Seeing his family announced and the camera capturing the innocence of his children's faces and the brave support of their mother, was startling in the middle of such a giddy day of celebration. The children held a sign saying "Pray for our Daddy".

When the family was announced some people in the bleacher started chanting "Beat LA". That traditional chant that has symbolized the rivalry between these two teams, going back to the days in New York. But this time as the chants started there was a hush that followed. People looked at each other in the stands, uneasily, as if to say... not now. Now is not the time.

Because you see this has nothing to do with baseball or rivalries. It has to do with ignorance and evil and violence, and that has nothing to do with Baseball.

So tonight is the first SF home game vs the Dodgers since Brian was so cruelly attacked. I pray for Brian, and I pray for us, that we show him the respect he deserves by not retaliating. By showing that Brian, a first responder, who valued life above all that we are better than the violence. We owe him that.