Archive for Tuesday, June 22, 1993

EDITORIALS

June 22, 1993

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Celebrations out of hand

Something is terribly wrong with the so-called victory celebrations in cities which are the home of athletic teams who win national championships.

In past years, there were well-organized parades to welcome home or honor national champions, such as the parades along Massachusetts Street for Kansas University's national championship basketball teams. The crowds were well-behaved, and there wasn't any rowdiness or lawlessness.

In recent years, many such events have turned ugly. There was mass destruction and looting in Montreal after that city's hockey team won the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last year, after the Dallas Cowboys won football's Super Bowl, police had to be called out to quell violence.

Sunday, Chicago officials placed added police on the city's streets to handle expected violence if the Chicago Bulls won the National Basketball Assn. championship. Many businesses boarded up their windows to try to prevent looting. After the Bulls won the title in Phoenix, police made more than 700 arrests in the Windy City when "fans" started using the victory as an excuse to destroy property and steal merchandise through broken store windows. Two people were killed during the melee.

It is a disgrace that some elements of our citizenry look forward to using the celebration of an athletic victory as an excuse to loot, tip over cars, destroy property and go on a rampage.

These are not "fans." They are thugs and troublemakers who jump at the chance to cause hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars of damage and steal as much as they can carry away from stores that have had their front windows and doors broken and torn down.

It's time for a crackdown. Those who cause such damage should be arrested and sentenced to long jail terms rather than merely being taken to a police station, perhaps held for a few hours and then released.

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