Many NFL stadiums across the country have done everything they can to increase security and keep order in the stands, seats, and concession stands, but sometimes there is even more coverage needed.
After the New York Jets defeated the Cleveland Browns 26-20 in overtime this past Sunday, a young Jets’ fan was tackled in the parking lot by a drunken Browns’ fan. Both teams have reached out to the family in order to help make amends and perhaps show that isn’t what the NFL wants or expects, but the family is not looking for any special treatment.
The young boy (whose name has been kept private at the family’s request) was walking through the parking lot after the game and holding his father’s hand. Wearing a Jets’ jersey and going to the car, the young boy was then tackled by a drunken Browns’ fan and sent to the ground. His father quickly gather him up and headed to the car to get his son to safety.
“As [my husband] was walking, holding my son’s hand, a guy from behind tackled him. A drunken Browns fan tackled him and pulled him out of his dad’s hand. He was on the ground crying,” the boy’s mother Danielle said, according to ABC news station WEWS.
All of this was after the name-calling and hurtful words thrown the boy’s way before leaving the stadium.
“Calling him a bad word, to my husband and to my son, throwing food at them,” she said, according to WEWS.
Matt Higgins, Jets’ executive vice-president of business operations contacted the family and tried to offer VIP treatment including a flight out to New York, tickets to a Jets’ game in a luxury suite, and signed memorabilia.
“It’s terrible, what happened to that little boy,” Higgins told ESPNNewYork.com. “As a father myself, I can say it tugs at you. We reached out to them, hoping we could raise their spirits. But, in talking to the family, they’d like to maintain their privacy. They have no plans to take us up on the offer at this time, but it’s an open-ended invitation.“
The family politely declined.
After all was said and done, the boy’s father chose not to call the police but merely get his son out of there as quickly as possible. The little man was left with a scraped and bruised ankle, but no major injuries. It’s the emotional scars that will stick with him much longer.
“My husband asked him, ‘Did you have a good time?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Would you want to go back sometime?’ And he said, ‘No, I don’t like Browns Stadium.’ Who could blame him?” the boy’s mother said.
A team spokesman for the Browns said that the team also reached out to the family and offered “anything we can do,” in hopes of trying to make even the slightest amends for all that happened to them.
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