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When it Hits the Fan
Previous Columns

Fans not to blame - Response to SF Chronicle Editorial - 09/17/2004

Editor -- The editorial "Out of control in Oakland" (Sept. 15) is an outrageous attack on fans of the Oakland Athletics. The Chronicle suggests that the fans were responsible for the vicious assault by Texas Rangers relief pitcher Frankie Francisco and his comrades.

Members of the Oakland A's security staff as well as the team's vice president of stadium operations, David Rinetti, have repeatedly stated that there was nothing in the fans' heckling to require ejection. No swearing, no racial slurs -- nothing that crossed the line.

Witnesses to the chair-throwing incident in which a woman was injured, including Oakland police officers who were on duty at the Coliseum, corroborate this account. Indeed, Oakland police are taking the matter very seriously.

So why does your editorial place the burden of blame on the fans? It is incomprehensible that The Chronicle would blame the victim. If a woman says things that anger her husband, does that make it OK for him to hit her?

There have been a couple of isolated incidents involving individuals at A's games -- just as there have been incidents in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and just about every other city with a Major League Baseball team.

So to assume the fans were at fault in this latest incident is completely unwarranted.


Oakland A's Fan Coalition Oakland


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