Earlier this year, I said it’s would just be a matter of time before a flash mob incident broke out at a high school sports contest. Well, so far it hasn’t happened.
Social media has, however, led to a number of fights and other incidents at youth sports contests around the country, including in Connecticut, and an ugly football brawl in Warrenton, Georgia, which got the attention of CNN. All were almost certainly sparked by on line trash talking. The Georgia brawl was as ugly as it gets, with players and spectators swarming a visiting football team, and a coach who tried to stop the brawl being beaten over the head with a helmet.
Youth and high school sports have seen fights, insults and bullying prompted by social media, but not really a flash mob. There have clearly been ugly brawls and near riots triggered by social media, but, still, they didn't really qualify as a flash mob.
When we think of a flash mob we’re thinking of something like the recent incident in St. Louis where over 300 youth planned a gathering via electronic communications, leading to a large crowd, massive violence, a shooting incident, and a near-riot in a shopping mall.
A flash mob is designed to shut things down. It's an organized swarm of chaos. If we ever had one at a sports contest, the game couldn't be played. It seems that the people whose e-communications have triggered violence at youth and high school sports contests don't want to disrupt the game. They may have bad intentions, or they may simply lack the ability to deal with the opposing team and its fans in a graceful manner, but, at the same time, they deem sports too important to be disrupted, which, ironically, is probably why the violence occurs in the first place!
So it seems the game itself may be too important to give rise to flash mob violence.
But better knock on wood.The year isn't even half over!
Posted May 21, 2012