Originally posted by Robert:
It's funny, this was my exact thought when I heard Aldon was stabbed at a party (fight between surenos and nortenos). Not saying this story is true, it's just the first thing I thought of. Nortenos "claim red". So, due to being from norcal and red being their color, lots of nortenos are niner fans. Surenos "claim blue" and are from socal, so many are Raider fans.
As the niners have languished over the years, so have their ticket prices...making attending games more appealing to a different socio economic class. It's been good in that we get more blue collar people at the games (hence no more "chardonnary hole"), but there's also been a much larger contingent of the nortenos over the years. I see them in the parking lot, at the games, in larger and larger numbers over time. Until recently, from what I've seen, they drink and have a good time. They are a bit rowdy, but withinn the bounds of "normal aggressive rowdy" for an NFL game.
Then this last year, things started quickly crossing the line. Lots of fights with rival fans. Rival surenos showing up in the parking lot and at the game. I have assumed that the shootings at the Raider-Niner preseason game were sureno-norteno related (not sure if this is true, I just assumed it). It's not just niner games. In the south, Dodger games are covered in surenos. It's all around pro-sports in California.
Instead of demonizing Aldon for bad judgment, I'd much rather see the niners and other California teams educate these players on the realities of gangs and gang affiliations in California. It's a reality we live with out here, but a young pro athelete would have no reason to suspect the state of affairs in California. So, we should not judge him as though he did. Everything I have heard about Aldon is consistent with the fact that he is a high character guy. He's very young and extremely talented. I'm very glad he was not seriously hurt in this incident, and I'm sure he has learned from it. For all future new athletes in Cali, I'd really like to see frachisees expose players to a mini-syposium that educates them on some of the hidden and not-so-hidden dangers of California life. It's not all beaches and fairy tale movie endings out here.
The fact that we had more incidents at the stadium is analogous to the outside world. Aldon Smith had no reason to consider the idea that gangbangers would have the desire to show up at his party.
But like you said, they're becoming more and more involved in mainstream culture, especially sports.
There is no way for Aldon or his friends to have had any idea that this could happen. It makes sense if you live in California, and understand how that type of incident could easily happen. I don't know much about Missouri, but I'm guessing it's like a different planet compared to California.
On that same note, I'm betting a DUI is probably not seen of as big of a deal in Missouri (Let's look it up).
So I open up the Wikipedia article, and guess what? The first words on the page say, "The alcohol laws of Missouri are among the most permissive in the United States, ...".
Aldon just doesn't understand where he is or who he is right now. No one is really there to explain it to him. And no, having Michael Irvin squawking on stage about "leaving the ghetto behind" is not what I mean.
[ Edited by BrianGO on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:15 PM ]