Written by Nick Lavars
After crazed spectators threw fireworks onto the field during the Universidad de Chile-Iquique match last Friday, forcing the match’s suspension, officials are now calling for tighter stadium regulations.
Photo by benjaminm31/Flickr
The Stadium Security Project has filed 50 complaints for instances of crowd misbehavior since its inception in April 2011. Not one of these complaints has seen assistance from the clubs of fans in question, rendering the process somewhat futile.
With the chances of finding those responsible for the isolated incidents almost impossible, authorities will turn their attention to the prevention of such circumstances.
“It is necessary to work toward a standard of stadium security which exists in Europe, where a team cannot play professionally unless their stadium meets a certain level of conditions,” Chief of the Stadium Security Project and Ministry of Interior adviser Cristián Barra told La Tercera.
In a competition where the separation of home and away fans isn’t only preferable but a necessity, matches between certain clubs bring more chaos than others as bitter rivalries often boil over into uncontrollable crowd behavior.
“The supporter group of Universidad de Chile must be kept separate from opposing fans, as is the case with Universidad Católica fans,” said Barra.
Currently, the larger clubs such as these provide economic assistance to their “barras,” which are groups of die-hard fans. Barra says this sponsorship contributes largely to the organized chaos.
“We do not see the need to fund buses to carry the fans to the stadiums. This encourages the problem to grow and requires further police reinforcements,” he said.
After last Friday’s match, the clubs blamed the government and police while Barra and the security project blamed the leaders of the barras who allow spectators to enter the stadiums with fireworks.
“What we need to understand is that to change this we must use the tools at our disposal to face this problem together,” said Barra.
By Nick Lavars (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright 2011 – The Santiago Times
College Students Trying To Storm The Court Vs. Security Guards: Who You Got?
In case you missed it, the Seton Hall men’s basketball team upset the No. 9 Georgetown Hoyas tonight, 73-55. Yikes. It wasn’t even close, as the Pirates pulled ahead early and never looked back. Naturally, the Seton Hall fans believed that it was in their right to storm the court, after pulling off the upset. However, the stadium security guards weren’t too keen on that idea.
The first thing that wen’t through our mind as the students lined up to storm the court was: why? You’re a 19-win team and most likely well on your way to grabbing an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. Hey, act like you’ve been there before. That said, if you are going to storm the court, make sure you, a student-body of some hundreds of young kids, can manage to slip past a handful of old dudes with walkie-talkies. It really shouldn’t be that hard. Right?
Sugarland Says Negligence Claims Against Them For Stage Collapse ‘Sensationalize the Disaster’
By LAUREN EFFRON | Good Morning America – Tue, Feb 21, 2012 12:24 PM EST
Grammy-nominated country duo Sugarland said the lawsuit that states they are partially responsible for the tragic stage collapse last summer that killed seven, is actually people trying to “sensationalize the disaster.”
In a statement to ABC News, Sugarland’s manager Gail Gellman said, “Sadly when a tragedy occurs, people want to point fingers and try to sensationalize the disaster. The single most important thing to Sugarland, are their fans. Their support and love over the past nine years has been unmatched. For anyone to think otherwise is completely devastating to them.”
Moments before Sugarland — comprised of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush — was to perform a concert at the Indiana State Fair on Aug. 13, a powerful storm blew through the area, and a huge gust of wind ripped down the stage scaffolding. Seven people were killed and dozens were injured — one of which was an 8-year-old girl.
Numerous victims of the stage collapse filed a massive civil lawsuit on Nov. 22 in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis, claiming Sugarland and the companies involved with the construction of the stage were negligent and contributed to the accident.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, which include the families or the estates of four people killed and dozens who were injured, allege that Sugarland, Live Nation, Mid-America Sound Corp. and other events companies failed to provide a safe stage area and ignored inclement weather concerns.
The concert should have been canceled and the crowd evacuated, the lawsuit stated.
On Feb. 16, Sugarland’s lawyers responded to the claims and denied all accusations against the band, saying Sugarland had nothing to do with the stage’s construction. Among their many other defenses, said that “some or all of the Plaintiffs’ claimed injuries resulted from their own fault,” because some “failed to exercise due care for their own safety” or “knowingly and voluntary assumed and/or incurred the risk of injury to themselves.”
The band’s lawyers also denied Sugarland was responsible for deciding whether or not to cancel the concert because of weather concerns, calling it an “Act of God.”
“The incident at issue in this litigation resulted from a gust of wind of unprecedented intensity, which caused a structure that may have been improperly designed, maintained and/or inspected to fail. As such, this was a true accident or Act of God,” the response reads.
The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted a six-month investigation after the incident. Their report, released on Feb. 8, found that the heavy equipment supporting the stage was not properly built and that Mid-America Sound Corp., an events production company that constructed the roof and rigging used to hold the lights and sound equipment, had not taken appropriate measures to inspect the stage area.
IOSHA determined that Sugarland did not employ the workers who built the stage and therefore was not responsible for the incident, but fined Mid-America $63,000 for three serious violations of industry standards.
A spokeswoman for Mid-America told ABC News that the company had not yet paid the fine, and is meeting with IOSHA next week to discuss the report.
Sugarland’s attorneys are now seeking a jury trial, but declined to comment to ABC News about the allegations.
Lead vocalist Jennifer Nettles told “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts in a November interview that while she did not feel a sense of responsibility for what happened, she wept after hearing some fans were killed in the stage collapse.
“I mean, there are no, there are no words for that kind of, of tragedy,” Nettles told Roberts, at the time. “We are forever connected to those people, because of the evening that we shared, and the moment that we shared, and the tragedy that we shared.”
Prior to the moment when the stage fell, the band was waiting underneath it, and was uninjured in the accident.
“Everything suddenly looked dark, and then wind, and then a crashing sound, a horrible metal torquing, twisting sound,” Nettles recalled. “And then the ceiling of the dressing room torqued and shuddered, and everyone went to the wall, because we didn’t know what was happening, because we couldn’t see, we’re underneath. And then, we all just all stood there, waiting to know what was happening. … Obviously, once we realized what happened, everybody’s on their radios, and it’s madness.”
ABC News’ John Palacio and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sangamon Valley fan behavior was unacceptable
Incidents that prompted the premature end of a boys basketball game at Williamsville High School last Friday were unacceptable and measures will be taken to discourage similar occurrences at future games involving the visiting team, Niantic Sangamon Valley.
That was the reaction Tuesday of Sangamon Valley school superintendent Ernie Fowler four days after the Storm’s 67-47 loss at Williamsville — where the game was halted with 1 minute 47 seconds left due to misbehavior by some Storm fans.
Sangamon Valley has submitted its plans to the Illinois High School Association, which also has received reports on what transpired from the game officials and Williamsville officials.
Fowler said the school district would pay for a Macon County Sheriff’s Deputy to be at the rest of this season’s home games, beginning with Tuesday’s game against Decatur Lutheran. And a Sangamon Valley administrator will attend all road games beginning with Friday’s contest at New Berlin.
Fowler said he and Sangamon Valley principal Robert Meadows had a conference call Tuesday with IHSA assistant executive director Kurt Gibson, and they subsequently sent a letter to Gibson with their plans for home and away games.
Gibson indicated it’s likely the IHSA will OK Sangamon Valley’s plans and won’t further penalize the school.
“This is an unusual situation,” Gibson said of the game being called early. “But I think what Sangamon Valley wants to do is good. I’m hoping that’s where we end up.”
Water bottle toss
According to accounts from several individuals involved that night, including floor official Bob Claton of Springfield, the game was called after a plastic water bottle was thrown in Claton’s direction near the scorer’s table.
It came from the Sangamon Valley fan section, although Fowler said the person who threw the bottle has not been identified.
“We’ve asked a lot of questions, but nobody’s owned up to it,” Fowler said. “We don’t have a definitive answer there.
“But if we find out whoever did it, we’d have them banned from any of our activities. It’s unacceptable behavior. I don’t care what you think about the referees or how the game is going.”
Sangamon Valley coach Josh Myers received a technical foul during the second quarter, which meant he had to remain on the Storm bench the rest of the game. Claton, who was part of an officiating crew with Springfield’s Limey Nargelenas and Chatham’s Steve Guikema, said Myers complied.
Claton also said he did not remember Myers or any other Sangamon Valley coaches using inappropriate language that night.
The game was tied at 28 at halftime, but the Bullets outscored Sangamon Valley 39-19 in the second half. Williamsville finished 24-for-34 at the free throw line, while Sangamon Valley was 7-for-14.
Myers was bringing his starters out of the game with less than 2 minutes left when one of them, senior Dan Rentschler, received a technical foul for saying something to one of the officials. Claton said another technical was assessed to Sangamon Valley assistant coach Nick Viele for something he said to an official as Rentschler came to the bench.
During the ensuing Williamsville free throws, some Sangamon Valley fans — whose section was on the side of the gym with the scorer’s table and team benches — were filing out. Claton said some fans directed foul language and obscene gestures toward him and the other officials.
“Somebody threw a bag of popcorn on the floor; then a water bottle went by my head,” Claton said. “For the players’ safety and (the officials’) safety, I decided to stop the game.”
‘A black eye’
Myers admitted he deserved the technical foul in the second quarter, but he wanted to put an end to rumors that the situation was more out of control than it actually was.
“It’s not something you ever want to happen again,” Myers said. “I was embarrassed because it gives Sangamon Valley a black eye. An idiot threw a water bottle.
“It was a bad situation, but there wasn’t a fight or anything like that. What I’m most upset about is, there were stories that our players and coaches were out of control. Some of it was blown out of proportion.”
Fowler said he talked with Myers about what transpired, and that Myers — also the school’s athletic director — has the support of the Sangamon Valley administration.
Fowler also said the feedback he received from residents in the Sangamon Valley district (including Illiopolis, Niantic and Harristown) indicated the fans who lost control on Friday were in the minority.
“We have good people in our community who are appalled by the behavior of a handful of fans,” Fowler said. “I’ve gotten calls and emails from people who were at the game, and they’ve expressed outrage over this.”
A North Carolina state appeals court has affirmed a summary judgment ruling for a local school board in a case where it was sued by the family of a 6-year-old boy, who fell through the space between the bleachers and suffered a severe head injury.
In ruling for the County Board of Education, the court found that plaintiff Betty Gholston, who sued on her own behalf and as guardian for Tyson Davis, failed to show that a reasonable board would have acted differently with respect to bleachers for a high school athletic field.
The incident occurred on October 20, 2006. Davis, along with his father, was attending a football game at Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Together, they sat near the top of the school’s aluminum bleachers, which were damp with condensation. When they walked down the bleachers, Davis slipped and fell through the 18-inch to 24-inch gap between the bleacher seat and the floorboard. The boy fell approximately 10 feet and struck his head on the concrete, fracturing his skull. He underwent surgery to have permanent metal plates and screws inserted into his head.
Almost three years later, the boy and his family sued, alleging that the Board breached its duty to ensure that the bleachers and its premises were reasonably safe for all invitees by failing to cover the openings between the seats of the bleachers and by failing to take any other measures to protect invitees from the danger presented by the openings. They further alleged that the Board breached its duty to warn of the risk and danger associated with the bleachers.
The defendant moved to dismiss the claim in May of 2010. Among its arguments was an affidavit from an engineer, which attested that the bleacher seat-boards and floorboards met the Building Code requirements and standards at the time they were originally constructed and installed, and met the standards when they were modified in 1985 to replace the wooden seat-boards and footboards with aluminum seat-boards and footboards. Further, at the time Tyson fell in 2006, “the bleachers were compliant with the appropriate North Carolina Building Code given the date(s) of installation and modification.”
Additionally, Mickey Stoker, the school’s athletic director in 2006, submitted an affidavit stating that he inspected the bleachers twice a year for safety and maintenance. According to Stoker, the bleachers were in a safe condition and did not require any repairs at the time of the accident. Furthermore, Stoker had been the athletic director for six years, and during this period, there had never been any problems with the bleachers and he was unaware of anyone falling through the bleachers and injuring themselves prior to the date of the accident.
The plaintiff’s response addressed none of the defendant’s arguments.
Not surprisingly, the trial court granted summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed.
The appeals court noted that in premises liability cases, Martishius v. Carolco Studios, Inc., 355 N.C. 465, 473, 562 S.E.2d 887, 892 (2002) is applicable. In its opinion, the state’s Supreme Court wrote that in a premises liability case, “actionable negligence occurs when a defendant owing a duty fails to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable and prudent person would exercise under similar conditions, or where such a defendant of ordinary prudence would have foreseen that the plaintiff’s injury was probable under the circumstances.”
Under this standard, a premises’ owner “‘must use the care a reasonable man similarly situated would use to keep his premises in a condition safe for the foreseeable use by a lawful visitor — but the standard varies from one type of establishment to another because different types of businesses and different types of activities involve different risks to the lawful visitor and require different conditions and surroundings for their normal and proper conduct.’” Id. at 474, 562 S.E.2d at 893 (quoting Hedrick v. Tigniere, 267 N.C. 62, 67, 147 S.E.2d 550, 554 (1966)).
“The question presented by this case is, therefore, whether the Board exercised the care that a reasonable school board would have exercised with respect to bleachers at an athletic field under similar circumstances. See id. at 475, 562 S.E.2d at 893-94 (holding that ‘defendant landowner had a duty to exercise such reasonable care as a landowning proprietor, running a motion-picture studio while maintaining a significant degree of control over the daily operations of its licensees, would exercise under the circumstances’).”
The court noted that the Board met its burden.
“Even though the Board’s evidence of compliance with the Building Code does not conclusively establish due care, that evidence, when combined with the Board’s evidence of a lack of notice of any prior problems with its bleachers, was sufficient to shift the burden of summary judgment to the plaintiff,” wrote the court.
“For plaintiff to meet her burden, she was required to come forward with evidence suggesting that a reasonable school board would have acted differently with respect to bleachers for a high school athletic field. See McLaurin v. East Jordan Iron Works, Inc., 666 F. Supp. 2d 590, 600 (E.D.N.C. 2009).”
Among the plaintiff’s other legal shortcomings was the fact that she presented no evidence that other schools or boards of education “did anything differently than the Board here.” See Lorinovich v. K Mart Corp., 134 N.C. App. 158, 162, 516 S.E.2d 643, 646 (1999) “Further, plaintiff has made no attempt to counter the Board’s evidence of no notice of any problem — she has pointed to no evidence of any similar occurrence with the Board’s bleachers or with any other school’s bleachers.” See Williams v. Walnut Creek Amphitheater P’ship, 121 N.C. App. 649, 652, 468 S.E.2d 501, 503 (1996).
Tyson Davis v. Cumberland County Board of Education; Ct. App. N.C.; NO. COA10-1559, 2011 N.C. App. LEXIS 2589; 12/20/11.
Attorneys of Record: (for plaintiffs-appellants) Shanahan Law Group, PLLC, by Kieran J. Shanahan and Melissa L. Pulliam. (for defendant-appellee) McAngus, Goudelock & Courie, PLLC, by Mary M. Webb and Webster G. Harrison.
Sports Litigation Alert is a bi-monthly publication of Hackney Publications. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.
Sport Litigation Alert
|Volume 9, Issue 2||February 10, 2012|
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International Centre for Sport Security Announces Research Agreement with Institute for Fan Culture
February 2, 2012 The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), the not-for-profit sport security organization based in Doha, has announced today a new collaboration with the Institute for Fan Culture (IfF) in Germany, the new academic institution led by Prof. Dr. Harald Lange (Dept. of Sport Science at the Julius Maximilian University Würzburg) and co-founder Dr. Phil. Martin Thein.
The Institute for Fan Culture (IfF) has been created to explore the psychology and behaviour of sports fans around the world and brings together leading academics from the field of sociology, political science, criminology and social psychology, as well as sport, to research the causes of fan violence, extremism and hooliganism in sport today.
The new venture is part of the ICSS’s ongoing work to develop and share knowledge within the field of sport security and will actively involve fans from a variety of social groups, as well as leading sporting organisation’s and security experts, to determine why fans exhibit extreme behaviour within a sporting environment.
Speaking of the new collaboration, Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said: “This new project is another step towards the ICSS’s goal of becoming a global hub for sport security expertise and I look forward to working with the team at the IfF and the University of Würzburg in the coming months.
“With the spotlight falling on a number of fan-related incidents recently, this research will provide an important step in understanding sports fans around the world and what influence politics and society have on their behaviour today.”
Helmut Spahn, Executive Director of the ICSS, added: “This topic will be explored further as part of the Hosting Safe and Secure Sporting Events in New and Emerging Nations panel at the 2nd International Sport Security Conference, taking place in Doha on the 14th and 15th March 2012, and I encourage all major event organisers to attend for what I am sure will be an engaging discussion on the future of the major sporting events industry.”
The January/February (2012) issue of Psychology Today highlights the personality of diehard fans. Some of the findings include that people are deeply connected to outside entities. The brain’s mesolimbic system functions as a reinforcement circuit so when we like something, we want it again the next time it is available. If we enjoyed being around sports and cheering our favorite team, we want to do it again. “Superfandom” might also represent a copying strategy. By cheering your favorite band, a fan can forget about all their other troubles.
In terms of sport fans, the article highlighted that the greater the fan’s draw to the action, the more they might feel they are part of the action. “We did it.” The feeling that a fan is part of the team and helped the team win is very intense. It is a vicarious sense of success. This can be so intense that fans can experience hormonal surges and the post win euphoria can last for days after a major victory. Fans can also feel they are part of a community of other fans which presents a strong sense of belonging. Lastly, sport fans are often evaluated based on how “out there” they are. Thus the more a fan wears the team colors, shaves their body, paints their body, engages in crazy antics, etc… the more their status increases among other fans. Thus, the wilder they are, the more prestige they have with a group.
In terms of music fans, music has a very strong reinforcing effect which is why we sometimes have a favorite song or remember an event associated with music. A live concert can intensify this feeling. Some research has shown that concerts can actually rival religious experiences with pounding hearts, tears, and uncontrollable emotions.
The latest issue of Stadium and Arena Management (February 2012) highlights PMI on page 21. Here is the link: http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/digitaleditions.aspx?tab=0&pid=f59c8692-d55a-4d59-9ed1-ba8661a473ea#
Egypt declared a three-day mourning period and its parliament held an emergency session after clashes between fans of rival soccer teams killed at least 79 people Wednesday night.
The violence was the deadliest incident since the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, and heightened criticism of the poor performance of the police force, which has often appeared either unable or unwilling to perform its duties in securing Egyptians’ safety since the 30-year leader was forced out.
Many Egyptians, while fiercely angry at police, are also holding the military council ultimately responsible for the failure of police and the lack of security in the country.
“Those in charge are responsible for this,” says soccer fan Tamer as he helped block traffic into Tahrir Square this morning in protest.
Even though Tamer is a supporter of the Zamalek club, an archrival of the Ahly club whose fans were attacked yesterday, he came out in a show of solidarity against the security forces. “The police stood by and did nothing as people were killed,” he says. “And the military hasn’t provided a safe and secure environment. This is a national tragedy and those in charge bear the blame.”
Policeman: No one respects us anymore
The details of what happened Wednesday night after a match in the Mediterranean coastal city of Port Said are unclear. Hard-core fans, known as “ultras,” from both Al Masry, the local club, and Al Ahly, a Cairo-based club that is the most popular in Egypt, attended the match, which ended in an unusual victory for Al Masry. Videos show that after a game, fans of Al Masry rushed onto the field, apparently attacking both the Ahly players and fans. Most of the police present appeared to stand aside as the crowd swarmed the pitch.
Witnesses reported that some fans suffocated to death in a panicked rush to escape, while others were stabbed or otherwise wounded in clashes with Al Masry fans. The exits were closed, leaving Ahly fans trapped in exit passageways where they had tried to escape.
Mohamed Abu Trika, a popular player for Al Ahly, said on the team’s television station that police had not protected people. “People are dying here, and no one is doing anything,” he said. “It’s like war.”
But a police conscript guarding an embassy in Cairo today, who gave his name as Adel, says he sympathized with his colleagues at the match. The police could not control a violent stampede, he says – especially these days, after losing the respect and fear of Egyptians in the uprising.
“No one respects us anymore,” he says. “They say bad words to us and spit on us, and consider us their enemies. They fight us in the streets.”
The police force withdrew from Cairo’s streets after being overwhelmed by the uprising on Jan. 28, 2011, and has never returned in full force. Rights groups, activists, and some politicians have pressed for security-sector reform that would end a culture of abuse and corruption in the police force and help it regain the trust of the people, but the military junta has not taken any measures.
A boost for military rulers?
Many Egyptians today struggled to understand just what had happened at the soccer match. Strong rivalries between the ultras are a part of the sports world in Egypt, and they occasionally lead to fights. But yesterday’s events are unprecedented for Egypt, marking the largest death toll ever in sports-related violence in the country.
The ultras participated in the uprisings that toppled Mubarak, and more recently played a key role in the Sept. 9 raid on the Israeli embassy and in street fighting against police and military forces in November and December, in which dozens of civilians were killed. The ultras have a reputation for fighting without fear at the front lines of urban street warfare, using fireworks as weapons and using vulgar chants against the security forces.
Some speculate that the police allowed the Masry fans to attack as a way to mete out revenge on the Ahly fans who fought police in the capital. Others say the military allowed the attack to happen in order to scare the country into extending military rule. “Who benefits from this? The military council,” reasons Gamal Shuab, a student who had helped stop traffic in Tahrir. “People will be scared and ask them to stay.”
“They get their legitimacy from chaos. They will do anything not to leave, and they are stirring up trouble to create a pretext for staying,” says passerby Tarek Abdel Moneim, who even suggests that security forces may have been directly involved in the violence. “The ones who do this aren’t thugs, they’re from state security.”
Yet others blame the Masry fans. “They are thugs. There’s been hatred between the two teams for a long time,” says Tarek Amr, a downtown merchant. “They knew that, and they shouldn’t have held the game when Egypt is so unstable. There weren’t enough police there to protect people, but there aren’t enough police anywhere in Egypt right now.”
‘Where has Egypt gone?’
Confronting its first crisis, Egypt’s newly elected parliament held an emergency session – the first in 40 years, according to the speaker. Some members called for the Interior minister and public prosecutor of the military-appointed government to be removed and tried. Others called for the resignation of the military-appointed prime minister, or early presidential elections to end military rule.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, which holds the most seats, released a statement calling the violence “an integral part of a deliberate scheme to incite strife,” aimed at “derailing the process of peaceful democratic transition of power.”
Meanwhile, Al Ahly ultras planned a march from their club to either the Ministry of Interior or the parliament building, and the US embassy warned its citizens to avoid the area.
“Can you tell me where Egypt has gone?” asks Ameer Ahmed, looking stricken as he watches a fight breaking out in Tahrir Square over the cause of the tragedy. “I’m watching what’s happening, and I don’t understand it anymore,” he says. “We need a president. We need someone to lead this country.”
Lions fan admits calling in bomb threat during team’s playoff loss to Saints
The FBI is investigating a fan who threatened to blow up the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans during the Saints’ NFC playoff victory over the Detroit Lions on Jan. 7, The Times-Picayune is reporting.
Shawn Payton, 34 of Jackson, Mich., is reportedly wanted on suspicion of phoning in a bomb threat during the Saints’ second-half comeback, a game New Orleans won 45-28.
The newspaper reports the threat was called in to the Superdome’s Gate F reception desk at 9:12 p.m., according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court on Wednesday. That was not long after Saints tight end Jimmy Graham caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Brees for a 24-14 lead in the third quarter.
“I will blow up your building,” a man said after confirming that he had reached the Superdome. The newspaper reports a second call came at 10:03 with a message intended for Saints coach Sean Payton, according to the FBI affidavit.
“Hi, I want you to relay a message to the sideline. If your stupid Southern team keeps winning, there will be reper … severe consequences. OK?”
FBI agents reportedly used phone records to trace the calls to Shawn Payton. He was interviewed by a Detroit-based FBI agent and admitted to placing the calls after hearing them.
“Payton stated he never meant any harm in making the calls and would never do anything to hurt anyone,” the affidavit said, according to the newspaper. “Payton relayed some ongoing personal problems, saying his anger got the better of him while watching the game.”
Payton said alcohol wasn’t a factor in the event and was sorry for his actions.
“I’m not a bad person,” Payton told the newspaper. “I was just so proud of the Lions finally making the playoffs for the first time in God knows how long. I got caught up in the heat of the moment and I seriously, highly regret making those calls.”