The unthinkable happened yet again at a sporting event over the weekend. Following an NFL preseason game between the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, two fans were shot and wounded in separate acts of fan violence. Another fan was knocked unconscious during the game in a stadium bathroom.
You can’t help but think of Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan that was brutally beaten following a game at Dodgers Stadium earlier this year. Things have really gotten out of hand, but Raiders CEO Amy Trask says the organization is doing everything it can to maintain safety and that Oakland fans should not be stereotyped.
Amy Trask joined 97.5 The Game in San Francisco with The Rise Guys to discuss the reaction of the team to the violence, the stereotypes surrounding Raiders fans, how the NFL assists in something like this, how the organization polices people who come to the game looking for trouble and whether the Raiders and 49ers should continue to play exhibitions.
What was the reaction of the Raiders organization to the shootings at Candlestick Park on Saturday?:
“My understanding as of now is that the individuals involved are going to be fine. That, of course, is the most important thing. Our thoughts are with all affected by the incidents on Saturday night. It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway, under no circumstances whatsoever is behavior like that condoned. It is absolutely abhorrent and it is not to be tolerated at any sporting venue.”
How troubling is it for you and the organization that there’s a stereotype that exists for a section of Raider fans?:
“Let me tell you on a personal level, it couldn’t be more troubling. … Let’s be a little bit direct about this. It’s not just a stereotype of fans and the citizens in the community. The media engage in this stereotyping as well. We all know better than to stereotype. … Yet in situations like these, people make an immediate rush to judgment and to stereotype. I will tell you, and I could be more passionate about this … the overwhelming majority of the Raiders fans, and fans of the 49ers, and fans of all NFL teams, are terrific, terrific people. … We have to resist the urge to let the behavior of a handful of people color our view of the fanbase as a whole.”
How does the league work with you in a situation like this where some fans are now afraid to attend games?:
“We work very, very closely with NFL security. … We have adopted every best practice available, and then some, in our stadium. For example, every ticket-holder, everybody receiving a ticket, receives our fan code of conduct, which explains what behavior is not to be tolerated in our stadium. … Everybody entering our parking lot receives tailgating rules. … We are very, very proactive in working with our fans in the parking lot and the game.”
How do you police people that might come to the parking lot or the game without a ticket, perhaps looking for trouble?:
“Number one, irrespective of the reason you are in our parking lot, you have to obey the rules. End of story. You ask what we can do. I will tell you this, we have done, we are doing and we will continue to do everything we are capable of doing to provide a safe, a fun, a family environment for our fans in the parking lot and in the game. I was asked earlier by someone, ‘Will we now reevaluate how we are approaching security in the parking lot and security in the game?’ … We reevaluate that every day. We reevaluate that every week. We reevaluate that every season.”
Should the Raiders and 49ers continue to play exhibitions?:
“Well, we have a terrific, terrific working relationship with the 49ers and we will continue to discuss our game and our business relations in the manner we always do, which is a cooperative, collaborative, congenial manner. I have every confidence that the 49er organization, led by Jed York, and the Raider organization will have conversations on all our ongoing business practices as time goes forward.”