Photo by Ed Szczepanski of USA Today Sports
Late in the fourth quarter of the San Francisco 49ers' 32-20 victory on Sunday, Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell was injured. He gave the fans at Candlestick Park a thumbs up as he was carted off of the field. However, those same fans have drawn some criticism for how they acted during the injury. That criticism is not just from the media, but from some 49ers players and even the team's owner. During the injury, fans were performing the wave in order to pass the time.
First of all, according to a tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter, Campbell was taken to Bay Area hospital where doctors believe "he will be sore but OK." That is certainly good news. Second of all, if you want to do the wave, then go to a baseball game. It really has no place in an NFL game.
Back on topic, the criticism came from a post-game interview with offensive lineman Joe Staley
, who was one of several 49ers players that were motioning for fans to stop doing the wave during the game delay due to the injury. "There is a man down there on the field getting carted off, you got fans out there doing the wave, I thought it was disrespectful," said Staley.
Later, Staley tweeted the following:
The criticism did not stop there. Team owner Jed York tweeted the following after the game:
So we asked our fans on Facebook
what they thought about the incident. Here are three different responses (word-for-word) to our inquiry
"I was there and the upper deck opposite side from injury started the wave and they had no idea injury was as bad the stadium got caught up in wave then stopped once they saw stretcher coming out, they didnt know how bad injury was there was no replays on big screens or announcement, just real bad timing"
"I was there. The wave actually had started a bit before the injury, but only really got going after people got bored waiting. Certainly not good taste, and we all did cheer the guy and were happy to see him waive as they carted him off. There were no replays being shown to help us in the stands know what had happened. They did play the "SHHH ..." sounds for "offence at work" to try to keep it down, and then the wave did stop."
"I was there as well, it was out of boredom, fans trying to give some light on the situation, the entire stadium cheered and clapped as he was taken off the field and he gave a thumbs up!!!!"
When brought up within our forums
, many fans felt that the bad seeds that have been introduced at Candlestick Park since the 49ers have returned to their winning ways would be filtered out once the team moves to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara next season. They feel that the bad fans, the ones that may have crossed over from the Raiders' fan base (their opinion), would be priced out of 49ers games. Whether or not any of that is true is unknown. Aside from this incident, Candlestick Park has felt less family friendly over the past few seasons and even I would never consider taking my son to a game there unless Jed York himself invited me to his personal suite. This is a shame considering that this is Candlestick Park's final season. Years ago, I probably never would have seen an issue with this.
Jed York even responded to a humorous tweet from a fan.
What are your thoughts on this incident? Were you there? Was it a disrespectful move by the fans? If so, do you believe that things will change for the better once the team moves to Santa Clara? Tell us your opinion by leaving a comment below.
Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:41 PM
Comment: This is being blown out of proportion. . They cheered when he gave the thumbs up and as for the cards fan making remarks... I was at the game when steve young was knocked out... when cardinals fans relized he was unconscious they cheered like they had just won the game... thats classless...cards fans are band wagon fans , sore losers and racist.
Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 6:35 AM
Comment: Unfortunately, I could not make it to this game. But if York thinks our fan base is bad then try ATL v. SF last postseason for NFC Championship. I witnessed several 49er fans being spit on and cursed at by ATL fans. The NFL should stop worrying about on-field antics with all the 'hit' rules that protect offensive players but do nothing for the defense and start worrying about the ridiculous fools who claim to be 'fans'. I was not there so I can't weigh in on what was or was not appropriate, but I can say that we as 49ers have suffered through much worse than a misplaced/misunderstood/inappropriate wave. Keep it real. Next time everyone in the stands is expected to cry profusely and hug the person to their immediate left when someone goes down. How about we stabilize and get the player IMMEDIATELY off the field regardless of severity of injury (like in other sports) instead of all the made for TV drama. Go NINERS!
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM
Comment: I was at the game. I was a little disappointed by the fans doing the wave. Truly was bad taste. The wave is never cool to do...ever. We're not texans fans though.
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Comment: I think that Jed was trying to protect the fan base saying that he was disappointed of "some" fans and I also think that the fans were bored during that pause and started with the wave just for fun. Remember that this was a very long game. Was that disrespectful? Probably yes but not in the way that the people is thinking. I think that this issue is being magnified by the media.
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Comment: I've been a season ticket holder for nearly a decade and this might have been the time I've been most embarrassed to be a fan. It was obvious that there was a player down and that it was serious well before the stretcher came out. If you didn't know what was going on, then you're a poorly informed fan. If you did know and you did the wave anyway, you're a jerk. Either way, this incident only supports our fan base's reputation as ignorant thugs.
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Comment: Campbell last year was in the SF airport and was apprapproched by sf fans telling him he isnt welcome in sf. Google it...SF fans are the same as Raiders and Eagles fans. A shame you can even take your child there to see the history of the stadium and NFL history. There are bad fans everywhere. ..too bad it 60k there. At the stick....its a fn game people. .not a gang fight..well .....if the shoe fits
By: AJ Dembroski
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 10:14 AM
Comment: That's a bit much. They're just passing time. It was not meant to be disrespectful. What did you want, everyone to stand in agony and bite their nails or something?
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM
Comment: A true fan of the game would know when players take a knee on the field and medical staff comes on the field something is truly wrong or when both teams surround a player laying on the field there is a big problem. Fans doing the wave because they were bored are fans that do not know the game of football, this was not a blow out it was a hard fought football game by both teams. Just by listening to the fans wanting to make noise when the 49ers are on offense in critical situations truly lets you know what kind for fans are at the game.
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 8:37 AM
Comment: I attended the Monday Night Game against Arizona in 1999 when Steve Young suffered his career ending concussion. Nearly all Cardinals fans in the stadium weren't cheering the injury, or behaving like jerks.
I suspect the idiots who did the wave are the same idiots who cheer when the offense is trying to move the ball.
These idiots should go to Lambeau Field and watch how fans who understand the game watch it.
But if you do, please don't wear your Niner gear - the Niner fan base is getting a nasty national reputation - and it's because of the morons who don't understand the game, don't understand sportsmanship, don't understand class.
You embarrass yourselves, and the rest of us.
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 8:23 AM
Comment: I'm a 30-year plus season ticket holder, and I was there, and it was extremely embarrassed for the far too many Niner fans who did the wave while Campbell was lying on the ground. There is no cause for the wave while any player is down on the ground, injured.
As for the idiots who claim they had no idea how serious the injury was, players from both teams were first gathered around Campbell, and then as trainers, doctors from both teams and the cart came out to Campbell, most of the players respectfully took a knee. Then, after the cart was dismissed and the paramedics and gurney came out, it should have been absolutely obvious to any fan that Campbell was, to the best of anyone's knowledge, very seriously injured. It was not until after paramedics rolled Campbell over to put him on the board that the idiots finally stopped doing the wave.
Highly embarrassing. Extremely poor sportsmanship. Excusing themselves by applauding afterwards is like excusing yourself for wiping your ass and washing your hands after shitting in the punch bowl.
I don't know when it happened, but sometime over the last ten years the Niner fans turned from mostly classy to mostly stupid and thuggish.
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:01 AM
Comment: York should shut his trap.I was there and did the wave.Also,the whole stadium was clapping when the player was being led off the field.Nobody and I mean nobody meant any disrespect.
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 6:57 AM
Comment: I myself was at the game. Attempts to start the wave began prior to the injury. Due to the extended time the player was down on the field, fans were successful at starting the wave, and cheered to their success. No one knew the extent of the injury of the player on the field. The cheers heard while the player was down was in no way intended to be directed at the player or the opponent.
The jump to a conclusion by the media, players, fellow fans, and even the teams owner, I feel is inappropriate, without clarifying the facts.
By: AJ Bolino
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 4:13 AM
Comment: Hey amigo. I was at the game, too. Watching THOUSANDS of morons do the wave while Campbell was hurt completely pissed me off. So did the copious amount of tools who decided to boo their own team when the 49ers were struggling to move the ball. Our fan base is a joke, and it's embarrassing as hell.
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Comment: I was also at the game. It was a little confusing and most of the fans around me didn't even realize someone was hurt. I saw Joe Staley signal to the crowd to stop then I realized what was happening. Once the fans noticed the cart coming on the field, then the stretcher they realized someone was hurt. We weren't even sure if it was a player from our own team that wasn't hurt. No malice or animals where I was sitting.
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Comment: Absolute animals. Losers. I will say this there is no reason Jed York shld be ashamed, cuz this is not a 49er fans problem, its a human being problem. This would have happened in a lot of stadiums. mostly in the northeast and out west. This probably doesn't happen in Indy. The average football fan has lost touch with reality. Its a game, a sport, and youre cheering that a guy may never walk again because the shirt he has on? This is just what we have become, a society telling people to go die cuz they messed up our fantasy weekend. It sucks but there is nothing you can do to stop people that despicable. Just ignore it and play for the ppl left with some class. its all you can do
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Comment: Was at the game. Wave started well before the injury and there were so many players milling around the player who was down there was no way to know what was going on. Bad situation but no mal intent by the fans.
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Comment: A glimpse at what our (the American society) has become. Haven't forgotten how classless they were after the 2011 NFCC game, guess they outdid themselves.
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:58 PM
Comment: It was a pretty slow portion of the game from what I remember. There was a lot of stoppage and fans were getting bored even before hand - which is when the wave actually began I think.
Even when you figured someone was hurt, I know there was no way for any fan near the north side to know the injury was serious until there was a stretcher coming out. But at that point the wave had started and people weren't paying attention.
It was poor timing to say the least - but NO ONE was cheering the injury. Everyone sat down when they realized what was going on and we all cheered him as he left the field. If there was disrespect, it was out of ignorance, not malice.
Santa Clara fans may not be as rowdy, but I have a feeling that the team will miss the energy of the dedicated fans at Candlestick.