Written on: Updated on:
As is the trend lately my current news seems to be stale news by the time I get around to blogging about it but nonetheless it’s one post I still feel relevant and somewhat important to me.
Yesterday my wife Colette and I decided to take my 3 year old son to his first live sporting event, and share a moment together on Valentines Day, at the South Africa v Pakistan one day International cricket match. Neither of us were sure just how long Luke would last but he loves to watch cricket when it’s on the television so we figured what the hell.
We got there just after 5pm which co-incidentally was also dinner time all thanks to a shoddy performance by Pakistan who only managed to put together a measly 153 runs. The atmosphere was very intense and exciting when South Africa came out to bat but you could just see that Luke was completely overwhelmed.
While the noise was a little scary at first Luke certainly warmed up to the event and soon really started to get into the game which was great. The amazing part for me was that we stayed for the entire South African innings with little complaint from the little guy.
That all said I have to admit that this was all marred by the fact that I just realised that cricket is really not a place for children anymore. Most of the people in the stadium were pissed beyond belief and I can not tell you how many fights nearly broke out in the area that we were sitting in.
One such incident involved a very large white man and an even larger Pakistani man. The Pakistani was standing in front of the large white male, who was directly in front of us, and it turned very ugly indeed. It ended with the white guy pushing the Pakistani and him leaving cursing spitting and screaming. Quite disgusting in truth.
As adults, or even teenagers, we can somehow comprehend what is happening when these things break out but for a three year old it is simply scary. I watched this incident through the eyes of my child and I’m ashamed that I subjected him to this. It just seems to me that people in South Africa simply don’t care about the sport and more about getting pissed and causing chaos in a stadium. It happens in all sporting matches in our stadiums and it simply isn’t good enough.
What is really ironic is that I spent quite a bit of time in London last year watching some very big football games and despite English fans having such a bad reputation for hooliganism I’d now sooner take my child to a football game in London than a sporting event in South Africa.