In the fallout from an ugly fight at the New England Patriots-New York Jets game, four fans have been charged with assault, according to the Star-Ledger:
The four people charged were Amanda MacDowell, 25, of Marlborough, Mass.; Jaclyn Nugent, 26, of Boston; David James Sacco, 28, of Boston; and Kurt Paschke, 38, of Holbrook, N.Y.
In a video that went viral, the two women and two men in the altercation will all be arraigned in East Rutherford Municipal Court. Though the woman punched in the face appears to be a victim, a law enforcement official told the New York Post that she was an aggressor.
Given that information, it’s not surprising that all parties will face assault charges. What’s surprising is the Jets’ less-than-assertive manner of dealing with the offenders.
A team statement on the fight says that it has a zero-tolerance policy. However, it then goes on to say, “Once the legal process has run its course, each of them must take the necessary steps before even being considered for readmission to future events.”
Any person banned from MetLife Stadium events may be considered for re-admittance upon completion of an online conduct course, the submission of a written apology, and a request for permission to be allowed to attend events at the stadium, Jets officials said.
Apology letters and online conduct courses are not “zero tolerance.” If anything, the team should set a defined amount of time before these people are allowed to re-enter. Considering that one offender is a Jets super-fan, who is so renown in the tailgate scene he’s taken pictures with owner Woody Johnson and coach Rex Ryan, it’s hard to see these people staying away from the stadium for too long.
If the NFL wants to make a statement on fan activities, it will step in and prevent people charged with fighting at games from attending live events for a fixed duration. When three of the individuals in an incident are fans of the visiting Patriots, exile from MetLife Stadium is hardly a punishment. Roger Goodell extends his long arm of the law on the field. Maybe he should take a peek into the stands, as well.