After the Super Bowl, emergency responders had a hard time keeping up with Philadelphia Eagles fans who were celebrating the team’s victory by marching through Philadelphia streets ripping down light posts, jumping off The Ritz Carlton awning, setting small fires, and damaging vehicles and store buildings. Windows of the Center City Macy’s were smashed, PATCO trains were delayed, and buses had to be rerouted.
Reports of the fans’ actions characterized the crowd as getting rowdy and the celebration as one that had been decades in the making.
The fans were considered understandably jubilant, so the destruction of property was acceptable as officials were slow to condemn the destruction, even though a radio call on the police scanner noted,
“a guy in a four-wheeler just ran over a cop.”
Although during the understandable and acceptable destruction Philadelphia Police Sergeant Brian Geer tweeted,
“Still going strong. But, if everyone could go home that would be great. We have to get some rest to start planning a parade in the morning”.
That was at 9:30 p.m., but the crowd was allowed to continue its celebration and destruction until the police began to move the crowd at 1:30 a.m.
These were fans celebrating a sporting event, and, well, celebrating a football game is important.
In 2015 in Baltimore, Freddie Gray, a25-year-old Black man died sustaining injuries to his neck and spine while being transported in a police vehicle after being arrested.
During the resulting protests of what seemed to be another in a series of unnecessary deaths of Black men, some rioters smashed storefronts and damaged a number of police vehicles. 34 people were reportedly arrested.
Black Lives Matter works to raise awareness around racial inequality and police brutality, and is usually condemned for any destruction to property committed by anyone, even if they are not part of that organization, and they are roundly condemned and countered with more civil slogans like Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter to misrepresent their objective and create an artificial us and them divide.
Their getting rowdy is condemned, as is any property damage that can be connected to them, and they are protesting racial inequality and injustice.
Such protests had been decades in the making.
Sports fans destroying property is excused as exuberance.
But, hey, the Eagles won a football game.