Followers of social media know that the fast food restaurant, airport terminal, or commercial aircraft flight can devolve into fight clubs. It looks like National Football League venues — and it’s not even the regular season yet — are destined to be added to the potentially hazardous list.
During an exhibition game between the NFC Detroit Lions and the AFC Pittsburgh Steelers at the latter’s Heinz Field on Saturday evening, a brawl erupted in the stands when a woman slapped a man in the face after he warned her not to touch him. As you would expect, the footage has since gone viral.
Another man, perhaps her companion, rose up in her defense, but the slappee started landing several haymakers on that man, seemingly knocking him out, at least briefly. He also appeared to connect to the woman with one blow and to push her out of the way as she tried to stop him from delivering more punches.
It also looks like he may have stopped himself from punching her further.
Based on the brief clip of the encounter embedded below, which has logged more than four million views, it’s impossible to tell what started the argument that unfortunately got violent, although the woman, at first, advised her adversary to “get the f— out of here.”
Watch the video embedded below and draw your own conclusions:
It’s football season again in Pittsburgh 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/uY9PB7p9Kz
— Jimmy Brooks 🧑🏽🦽 (@EvrybodyHatesAP) August 22, 2021
Here is a slightly longer version during which the woman seemed to telling her companion or companions to “shut up.”
Heinz field lit tonight pic.twitter.com/14YaS4lYKw
— Troy (@CLEtroyjames) August 22, 2021
After the melee calmed down as at least one other fan intervened, bystanders told security that “she hit him first,” and an onlooker added “somebody get his glasses.”
The woman did strike the man first, though he is seen shoving her away from him.
So far, no information has emerged about any arrests from the altercation or if any injuries occurred.
The Steelers prevailed in the relatively meaningless (other than perhaps starting QB Ben Roethlisberger’s solid performance) game by a score of 26-20. Starters usually stay glued to be bench during practice matchups, which often makes for a less-than-exciting contest, at least on the field.
Last week, as fans were admitted to the new SoFi Field in Los Angeles for the fist time since it opened, fisticuffs broke out during the second quarter of a pre-season, intra-city rivalry game between the Los Angeles Charges and Las Angeles Rams.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 17, 2021
The Pittsburgh incident is unique in one respect, which is that it apparently, for once, did not involve grown men or women wearing team jerseys who, for some reason, are under the misguided, illusionary impression that they play for their favorite team rather than just being part of the audience. In some circumstances, this tends to lead to confrontations.
Fans of different teams can and do engage in lighthearted banter when sitting near each other that never gets physical. Occasionally, obviously, things get out of control.
Again, this particular incident may have had nothing to do with football per se.
Despite the lucrative revenue stream involved, as a general principle, however, stadium operators and team decision-makers in the major sports leagues may eventually have a decision to make when it comes to patrons: Either ban team jerseys or ban beer. Or maybe both.
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