Off Topic – Fans throwing objects at Orlando City SC Soccer Games

offtopicgraphicsWritten by Robert Voss
Editorial Opinion

At a soccer game on Sunday, May 13, 2018, Orlando City SC verses Atlanta United FC, this was not the first time fans have throw trash and other objects onto the field. But on this day, more than thirty-eight plus fans threw objects onto the field. Luckily, I was not there working this game. This is a major safety issue for fans, players, referees, photojournalists, and Orlando City SC (OCSC) staff. Now this issue is in the local news.

In the past, I have brought my concerns to an Orlando City SC staff member. I felt it was just bushed it aside. One OCSC staff member said it was just part of the game. To me this was not part of the game. I did not sign up to work and get trash or any object thrown at me. OCSC and Major League Soccer (MLS) should not tolerate fans throwing trash on the field. This type of fan behavior needs to condone.

This situation has been in the back of my mind for a while. I have photographed many games from the fields and have had quite a few things throw at me too. Here are some moments I can recall working an Orlando City SC game. At a game at Camping World Stadium a fan threw a full-unopened beer can launched onto the field. Luckily, my fellow photojournalists and I were not hit from this projectile landed onto the field. It came from the supporter sections and it is unknown if the fan received a discipline from one of the stadium security staff.

Another time came when I photographing a game on the field at Orlando City Stadium back in 2017 with my back facing the crowd. My focus was photographing the game and not focusing on the fans in the stand. One fan throw his cell phone that hit my ear and the cell phone fell right in front of me. I was shocked when this happened. However, I did give the cell phone back to the fan. Stadium Security did witness this act but did nothing.

During some games when bad calls by the referees were made the Supporter Section fans started throwing liquid from their cups onto the field. Sometimes many photojournalists get soaked with alcohol even though they are not even drinking it. This was not very cool. Plus, it can ruin our photography cameras and lenses while on assignment. Because of this issue some photographers had to protect their cameras with rain gear when it is not even rainy. This is kind of odd, but this has to been done to protect our equipment. One OCSO staff member said this is a tradition in the soccer world. I find this type of behavior unsettling.

The call to action on this issue is now by OCSC. Soccer fans need to refrain from this type of bad behavior before someone gets hurt with serious injuries. Now OCSC is getting this right by raining in new fan code of conduct rules. At the games the soccer club will be having announcements and a video messages on the large television screen before, during, and after the game. All soccer fans will be warned. Any bad behavior by a fan will be reviewed by OCSC and possibly impose a suspension or explosion from all future games. Otownfun would like to hear your view on this hot topic item right now in Orlando. Email use at otownfunnow@gmail.com .

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