Yesterday, as we all know, our Parisienne brothers and sisters were horrifically attacked by terrorists. At last word, 129 were killed and countless others injured. One story from the Wall Street Journal that particularly caught my eye because it pertains to sports was that of a suicide bomber who had a ticket to enter an exhibition Germany-France soccer match at the Stade de France (capacity 80,000) but was blocked by a stadium security guard (give that guard a raise) from entering, saving many lives. Instead, the suicide bomber detonated his bomb outside of the stadium. The game went on as scheduled. I suppose the thinking was that it would have caused a great panic and there might have been more suicide bombers waiting outside. When the bomb detonated, the fans reacted as if fireworks went off outside the stadium. It was not until the second half that fans become aware of the carnage happening in their hometown.
I have been a frequent critic of increasing stadium security at baseball and football stadiums here in the United States. I feel it violates our rights, and it amounts to little more than security theater. I can hide just about anything under a few tampons in my purse. A story like this does make me rethink my beliefs somewhat. Can good security checks prevent deaths? Is it worth it to let them use the scanner or metal detector on us? It won’t prevent all attacks, but it stopped this attack. There is no doubt that this guard prevented the deaths of thousands. Does this change your opinion at all about stadium security?
In any event, we probably better get used to it. Although there are no known threats, increased security measures in the wake of the Paris attacks are coming to the NFL and MLB probably won’t be far behind.
EDIT: The security guard, who only wishes to be known by his first name Zouhier, survived the suicide bomb. His story was corroborated by witnesses.
SECOND-EDIT: I changed the headline to be less inflammatory. I was emotional when I wrote this piece, thinking of the great loss of life suffered overseas. Thanks for understanding.