It was predictable. In fact, police were prepared in both Lexington, KY and Storrs, CT.
Following Monday night’s NCAA championship basketball game, thousands of disappointed Cat fans spilled out into the streets, lighting fires, burning player jerseys and spewing out profanities. Lexington police were dispatched and used tear gas to control rowdy fans following the UK loss to UConn.
According to news reports, stop signs were uprooted, 19 couches were set on fire, 29 people were arrested for alcohol intoxication and disorderly conduct. 23 injured were reported and treated.
However, Uconn won and there was still destruction in Storrs around the UConn campus. A lamp-post was thrown through the window of an engineering building. Furniture was overturned inside the student Union. And a car was flipped over.
Campus police at UConn reported 30 arrests with others made by state police and more expected later, according to University spokesman Tom Breen. “A lot of it was alcohol-related,” Breen said. “There was breach of peace, destruction of property, and we had a fireworks charge.”
No doubt, this behavior is not representative of the majority of UK or UConn fans. But it does seem to be the norm today following any championship sporting event.
Mindless mayhem. Disrespect for authority. Disregard for personal property. And drunken revelry.
It seems university officials tried to down play the law breakers’ actions in both cities. Bad behavior is justified because of a heart-breaking loss. Or due to a victory celebration that got out of hand. Personally, I think it’s just an excuse to take advantage of a situation and sin.
This attitude is seen in so many other areas and situations of life.
In the aftermath of hurricane Kristina’s devastating assault on the Gulf Coast in 2005, people were plundering stores. They were not just taking food or water for survival, but televisions, shoes and electronic equipment. Some used this tragedy to justify stealing.
The city of New Orleans is known as a “party town.” Ironically, as a part of an age-old religious celebration, Mardi Gras is a time for some to get drunk, expose themselves and engage in all kinds of lewdness. It’s an just an opportunity to “enjoy the pleasures of sin.”
When we lived in Tampa, Gasparilla day caused concern by city leaders at the number of intoxicated people who were a threat to those on the parade route. “Hey, it’s Gasparilla, Let’s get drunk!” The party becomes an excuse for out of control revelry.
While most of us abhor such an attitude, we need to be careful that we don’t use events, people or situations as justification for bad behavior to excuse our sinful actions.
A husband is unfaithful to his wife. When the sordid affair comes to light, he says it was her fault. She’s wasn’t a good wife. She didn’t meet his needs. Adultery is then justified. Broken hearts and homes are rationalized.
Someone slights us in some way–an unkind word or an inconsiderate deed– and we “go off.” Angry epithets are uttered, ungodly actions are exhibited. When the heat subsides, the excuse is offered, “he made me so angry.”
We feel a professor is unreasonable. His tests are too difficult. His demands excessive. His expectations are too high. Others are cheating. It will affect the curve. So, we cheat. We rationalize, I had no choice, others were too. Dishonesty is justified.
Let’s all take responsibility for our actions. Let’s teach our young people personal accountability. Celebrating is not an excuse to sin. Tragedy does not justify ungodly actions . Unkind people, difficult situations or unfortunate circumstances do not condone bad behavior.
“Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (Rom 13:14, NASU)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman