Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Violence Reduction at Turkish Soccer Games: Ban Men

Today's news from Turkey: soccer clubs whose fans have been engaging in unruly and violent behavior are being "sanctioned." Their male fans are banned from certain home games, and only women and children under the age of 12 are allowed in. For free.

Read it: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=140639405&sc=emaf

Some of the highlights:
Before the game, Fenerbahce and Manisaspor (names of the teams) players tossed flowers at the fans. The visiting team was greeted with applause, instead of the usual jeering, the Anatolia news agency reported.
"This memory will stay with me forever," Fenerbahce captain Alex de Sousa said. "It's not always that you see so many women and children in one game."
Manisaspor midfielder Omer Aysan added: "It was such a fun and pleasant atmosphere."
How interesting! Seems the soccer players also enjoyed the change.

I believe that much "social violence" is a learned (and socially, if not legally, rewarded) behavior. It will be fascinating to see if this changes the behavior of Turkish male fans over time.

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