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When a celebration becomes a riot

Justin Yost, Editorial Writer

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I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

Why when a team wins a championship, the city that team is located in goes up in flames? This obviously doesn’t always happens, but it did. The Philadelphia Eagles finally won the Super Bowl, their first in franchise history. Everyone knows how crazy Philadelphia fans are, and if you didn’t, look up videos of community members using motor oil to grease up light poles to stop people from climbing them in celebration.

A lot of the celebration started out great. The mostly drunk fans took to the streets to party with anyone and everyone in Philadelphia. The pictures look a lot like Mardi Gras. But then it got out of hand. Many saw the greased up poles more as a challenge rather than an obstacle. At one point, one light pole was pulled out of the ground and carried around the city.

With the extra confidence from the alcohol, people shattered windows and broke into businesses. One gas station had a horde of fans come in chanting everything is free, before breaking into a massive food fight. Cars were flipped and fires were set ablaze. One man got on top of a police van and rode it for many blocks around the city before getting down. And, one thing I thought I would never type into a story, a man ate horse feces in celebration. I don’t think I have ever been so happy about winning something I had nothing to do with, that I decided I would eat horse s***. I don’t know what’s worse, eating horse poop or eating Tide Pods. (Please don’t eat horse poop or Tide Pods.) Good Morning America said police were powerless in trying to stop the riot.

Why?

With all of the damage that was caused in Philadelphia, it begs the question why were only four people arrested? The fans literally stormed the gates of the city hall, yet only four people were arrested. I read online, last fall, protesters took to the street to protest the jailing of rapper Meek Mill. Luckily this protest went off without a hitch, but what if protesters would have stormed the gates of city hall or tried to climb light poles? How about in 2015 during the Ferguson protests when a man tried to start a fire and was sentenced to eight years in prison? Multiple fires were started during this celebration, but yet only four arrests that will likely end with a slap on the wrist.

I’m obviously not from Philadelphia, but from every video I have seen of the celebration, every crazy fan doing crazy things has been white. It has become socially acceptable for fans to go crazy and destroy property without consequences, but when a group of people come together to try to make a change in a non-violent way it is looked down on. And often times met with fury.

We need to do better than this as a society.

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When a celebration becomes a riot