December 14, 2011
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — It's becoming an epidemic around the NFL as fan violence becomes a growing concern. This past weekend in both Miami and East Rutherford, N.J., fans were beaten badly at NFL venues.
New York Jets fan James Mohr, 28, was hospitalized and had to undergo surgery following a brutal beating by several Kansas City Chiefs fans who attended the game at MetLife Stadium. The assault on Mohr, a physical education teacher in New York City, came after the Jets' 37-10 win.
According to one report, Mohr was responding to a group of Chiefs fans telling him that "You all deserved what happened on 9/11," and screaming obscenities about New York in general. Mohr's sister Anna said that her brother was compelled to respond because "our other brother is a fireman, and my father is retired FDNY, so you can understand why a 9/11 comment would especially irk him. He was shocked anyone would actually say something like that."
Mohr's response that the comments were "disrespectful" apparently triggered the beating. He suffered a fractured jaw, cheekbone and eye socket, as well as bleeding on the brain.
A team spokesman told Yahoo! Sports in a statement that "We have reached out to James to wish him a speedy and full recovery. Our organization works hard to provide fans with a safe and secure environment and there is no place for this type of behavior. We are working with the stadium and New Jersey State Police to be certain that any and all perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The Jets are promising support for Mohr, much like they did when Rob Formola was beaten in the wake of the AFC championship game two years ago in Indianapolis.
"I just found out about it today," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. "I'll reach out once the young man is feeling better. I'll say this about our organization, I'm sure we'll do something for him when he's feeling better."
Mohr was reported as being in fair condition Wednesday at Hackensack University Medical Center. One suspect, 35-year-old Merle Lee of Newton, is free on bond and has been charged with aggravated assault.
An altercation in the parking lot following the Miami Dolphins loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon left a Dolphins fan laid out, his head hitting the asphalt with a sickening thud. A fight seemed to be brewing between the two fans, who verbally went at it with a couple failed swipes taken between the two. Then a third person entered the fray with a punch to the head.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer
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