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.
[ Edited by Robert on Jul 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM ]