DETROIT – The Detroit Lions players and coaches got much national attention from HBO’s Hard Knocks. Now that the season has started, the national spotlight is on the fans -- for the wrong reasons.
Fights like the one seen in the video player above are getting coverage from Sports Illustrated and the New York Post. The fights aren’t a brand new phenomenon, but some feel they’re getting more frequent and severe.
A loss took place for Detroit inside Ford Field Sunday (Sept. 11), but outside the stadium, sucker punches, beat downs, and black eyes were obtained by Lions fans.
The scene was a disgraceful display outside the stadium’s front gates, with multiple videos of fan violence going viral online after the 38-35 defeat by the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
Nick Stewart and his wife were at Sunday’s game to enjoy the opening week of the NFL season.
“Oh, yeah, I screamed the whole time and lost my voice,” said Stewart. “It was a fun time.”
Although Stewart enjoyed the Lions game inside Ford Field, he says it’s fan fights that have him coming up with his own game day game plan to avoid the altercations while also protecting his wife.
“Society is pretty violent these days,” Stewart said.
We know fans fighting is nothing new, but we’re seeing more of them occur as people continue to record them and post them on social media.
Local 4 showed Sunday’s fights to Bob Smith of Auburn Hills, and he was stunned at what he was watching.
Smith was a long-time Lions season ticket holder from the Pontiac Silverdome days. But he turned his tickets in as he says he was sick of the fights that were all around him.
He says the last straw was when a woman was being beaten, and he went to get security.
“We got up and left, and we said we are never going back,” said Smith. “It’s ridiculous.”
Smith pointed out how not just football fans encounter such foolishness as he says a fight broke out inside the Fox Theater recently during a Mannheim Steamroller show.
“When you start seeing fights at a Mannheim Steamroller concert, there’s a problem,” Smith said.
The Detroit Police Department says there was a focus at Ford Field Sunday on tailgating as they patrolled that to ensure it was safe.
Local 4 is waiting to see if there will be a new focus for activities after games to ensure safety for fans as adrenaline and alcohol are at their heights.