Open Season: Fight Breaks Out At The U.S. Open Tennis Competition

Tennis has always struggled with the absence of crowd-pleasing violent outbursts as in hockey. The U.S. Open was able to overcome that liability this week with a full fist fight that erupted in the stands as Novak Djokovic and Philipp Petzschner watched on as spectators.

Here is the video which shows various fans demanding that the young man be thrown out of the stadium:

The fight reportedly started because the young man was swearing loudly and acting obnoxious in the stands before being confronted by a woman and her father. At one point the woman lightly slaps the man and other fans scream “throw the bum out.” If you watch this video, the man appears to continue to trash talk and eventually prompts the father (who appeared earlier to want to avoid the confrontation) to take after him. They went tumbling over two rows of seats.

If this fight started over the young man’s swearing I have no sympathy for him. There is a segment of our society who were simply raised poorly and cannot watch a sporting event without being crude and obnoxious. I know people who no longer take their kids to Philly baseball games because the crowd is often too vulgar and inappropriate for kids. Stadiums have the ability to toss out and even ban spectators who lack manners or restraint. They are better off at home watching and swearing with their friends.

What is clear is that nothing this obnoxious has been seen at the U.S. Open since John McEnroe played singles.

For fun, you can count the torts from defamation to assault to battery to battery again to battery again . . . well you get the idea. What they need is a legal commentator calling love”, “fifteen”, “thirty”, and “forty” etc. I am available.

Source: Daily Mail

43 thoughts on “Open Season: Fight Breaks Out At The U.S. Open Tennis Competition”

  1. I’m with Frank there – the way he calmly laughed off being slapped in the face by an angry stranger all but screamed “drunk, violent lout” to me. Generally when you’re looking at situations where a man goes to fight a drunk it’s the drunk person that misses and falls down the stairs.

    I’m surprised that people who want everyone to mourn the loss of values in society want us to improve things by punching each other in the mouth. That’s a strange way to fix society. Violent crime is one of the things wrong with society (although there is a lot less of it across the western world as a whole these past years).

  2. So let me understand this, Soujourner, its is completely OK with you for a woman to hit a man if she feels he has insulted her (we don’t know that he did, it is your interpretation but I can’t say one way or the other) but a man should never hit a woman. Is that right?

    But what if the woman insulted the man? Seems to me she might have been insulting him (its as likely as him insulting her). Would you have been OK with him giving her a “light slap”?

    I assume the guy was being an ass but you know what? When he didn’t retaliate or even escalate after she hit him he actually got me on his side. Even when the guy jumps him he does not hit the guy, he could have creamed the guy when they were down but he walked away.

    I have had to deal with obnoxious fans at sports events and have found security has always been willing to move us or the offender & have never had to resort to extended shouting matches let alone physical violence.

  3. Soujourner, those are ugly pictures. The thing that happened in that second vid happened to my 14 year old, 110 lb brother, he was picked up while he was walking his girlfriend home. They kept him over the whole weekend (not legally). We had similiar pictures of bruising around his kidneys and soft tissue as well as other places…the arresting police were all >270lbs. I can’t imagine the reasoning…my brother wasn’t mouthy or fearful then…he can be now.

    It may be that that cop had a jonesin thing about feisty women…but what is happening out there right now transcends gender, transcends intelligence, transcends even law enforcement. If cops are becoming fearful or hyped up for some other reason…I hope they get control of themselves soon.

  4. Just to clarify why I used the “man hits woman” example. For me, the incident raised a simple question: “Is violence an appropriate response to non-violent, inappropriate conduct?”

    By using the example of a man hitting a woman, most people respond “no.” I mean, what is more repulsive than the image of a woman being assaulted?

    Sojourner, I understand your response to be something like “yes, a violent response is ok, just as long as the violence is inflicted upon a man.”

    Beyond being irrational, it’s a shameful argument.

  5. To me it was pretty obvious he said something insulting while looking into her cleavage. But you are entitled to your interpretation. I don’t entertain myself crying for someone’s blood online, so I’ve made my point.

  6. ‘But men getting their faces into women’s cleavage and saying creepy things are also bad, and women in such a situation may revert to long socially-accepted behavior.”
    better make sure you are always in like minded company…..I’m just sayin’… 😉

  7. what cleavage? this poor guy was diverting eye contact….which is a way to AVOID confrontation….his arms are out, making his center vulnerable…that woman slapped him when he was retreating…his only mistake was in trying to save face since the whole arena was at this point looking at and taking pictures of them. That woman was incredibly lucky … and please don’t put her behaviour in a ‘socially acceptable these are the norms’ light….we may be evolving but it’s not into that….

  8. Sojourner,

    I agree to your long-standing tradition, so long as I can call women “Doll” and give them a playful smack on the ass occasionally.

  9. I think the tradition a a woman slapping a man who insulted her across the face probably grew out of the tradition of the woman’s defender slapping a man with a glove to signifiy a challenge to a duel.

    Duels were bad, they caused unnnecessary death, so I ultimately agree with you. But men getting their faces into women’s cleavage and saying creepy things are also bad, and women in such a situation may revert to long socially-accepted behavior. I’m just sayin’

    Here’s a clip from a Bette Davis movie demonstrating the phenomenon:

  10. 1) Violence leads to violence. Counting on your opponent to act civilized in the face of it – no matter how minor – is foolish.

    2) In application, “We’ve always done it that way” is one of the stupidest excuses for behavior utilized by humankind.

  11. As a woman, I do believe if a man says something horribly insulting to a woman, as it seems this man did, as he was looking into her cleavage as he spoke, she has a right to slap his face. I know the law doesn’t see it this way, but I believe the law is wrong here. This tradition has evolved over the centuries. In such situations, a man is not supposed to hit back. You watch old movies you see it all the time.

    That said, her father shouldn’t have gotten involved, and it would have been far smarter of them to have just gone to security – I do agree with you there.

    When a woman slaps a man across the face who insults her, she is making several big assumptions:

    That she is around civilized people who understand this tradition and it’s necessity (that a woman can’t defend herself physically against a man, and society has given her the right to slap a man across the face when he offends her in some horrible way)

    That the man has been raised not to hit back when the woman does this

    That the man has been raised to regret his stepping across the bounds of decency and will retreat.

    Of course if the conditions listed above are not met, the situation will escalate, as happened here.

    But I do think legally penalizing a woman for this time-honored way of defending herself is wrong. It is using the law to bully a woman, which seems to be happening more and more, if you look at recent videos of male police violence against women.

  12. and in rewatching this….I don’t know exactly what that guy supposedly did…but he doesn’t look like the aggressor in this vid…without knowing what happened before the cameras started rolling, he was the one taking the violence and I’m not sure that he encouraged it at all.

  13. “The initiation of violence is immoral (and illegal), no matter how crude this man’s language and inappropriate his demeanor.”

    I used to think this way….but in a civil society, what used to be a very appropriate response can get you creamed. And too many decent people keep getting creamed. This escalated because that arena’s trusty security was nowhere to be found. Encounters like this are likely to become more frequent because our society has become less functionally healthy in general. Just sitting still and not encouraging by silence doesn’t work anymore…walking away is not really possible (in the big picture) anymore, and being rational and/or reasonable, or even polite just allows #ssh%les to take advantage. We are going to have to choose, on a macro level, what manner of society we are …from where I sit, right now the fascist Orc Overlords are winning…. 🙁

  14. I have to agree with James, LiterateDog, etc. on this issue. The initiation of violence is immoral (and illegal), no matter how crude this man’s language and inappropriate his demeanor.

    What if this was a woman acting inappropriately, slapped by a man? Would this posting focus on how the woman’s language had violated the peacefulness of the match and the increasing trend of poor language in society? Or would the focus be on how the man’s violence had infringed on her civil rights?

    Mr. Turley, I enjoy your blog and frequently agree with you, but how could you omit such an obvious point?

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