Lakers-Rockets fight 20 October 2018

So my question is: why haven’t all three been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and/or assault/battery? :confused:

It happened on-court. “Disturbing the peace” is a joke; they weren’t waking up grandmothers trying to sleep, this was in a sporting arena where people paid to watch athletes physically struggle against each other (not in a brawl but still). Disorderly conduct is much the same. I hope you weren’t actually serious about those suggestions…?

The assault/battery is more plausible but again this is a sporting event. On-court “trash talk” isn’t unusual so assault charges would be a stretch. Battery is only avoided because again, this is an event where some physical contact is expected. Shove someone on the court, you might be fouled, shove someone out on the street and that’s a violent crime. Context is extremely important where the law’s concerned.

Actual combat is outside of what you expect in a basketball game (it’s the NBA not MMA) but again there is still an understanding that these things can occur. All parties involved in the fight go into the game knowing this. That’s why charges are unlikely.

If a fan was attacked, that’s different because that’s not what he/she signed up for. I’d expect charges in that situation.

The fight was clearly not a part of the game. Why shouldn’t they be charged?

In California, and in most states AFAIK, fighting is illegal.

Also, rioting is the use or threat to use unlawful force in a public place.

So if context is important, what context are you invoking to excuse these people from prosecution? Because the context of “it was a game so it’s okay” doesn’t apply: punching isn’t a part of basketball and the game was not in play when the punches were thrown.

They probably could get charged if the authorities truly wanted to make a case out of it, but as the previous poster said, there’s an understanding that these things can occur in the context of a professional sporting contact in which there is physical contact. Moreover, there’s also the understanding that there’s a professional organization that governs conduct and imposes sanctions as a result of physical altercations. I suspect that if the NBA (or another league for that matter) had a reputation for not enforcing its own rules with regard to fighting, authorities might be more inclined to step in and do something, especially if they felt that sports fans could get involved as was the case in the infamous brawl in 2004 between the Pacers and Pistons.

Because, while not part of the game, fighting is a common and anticipated outcome of professional sports. There have been a few cases where charges were filed because of a assault during a sporting even but they were in very excessive cases, not a garden variety fight.

https://sportslaw.uslegal.com/sports-violence/

Police and prosecutors are permitted to exercise discretion; they’re not legally required to prosecute every case. Are you really wondering why the Los Angeles district attorney didn’t use a substantial portion of his or her office’s limited resources to prosecute three millionaires with high-priced attorneys, none of whom has pressed charges against any of the others, in a situation where everyone involved - including the “victims,” owners of the venue where the fight took place, and probably 90% of your constituency - is actively hostile to your effort? All in a situation where it’s not at all clear that any judge or jury would find in your favor, and where even if you win you have helped no one and at best fined those three millionaires an amount that wouldn’t even cover a tenth of what it would cost you to bring them to trial?

Do you similarly feel that hockey players should be prosecuted when they fight?

Yes, I am. You seem to be saying that the law doesn’t apply if you’re rich but I don’t see that written into the statutes so I don’t see why the law wouldn’t apply. I think there’s a good argument that prosecuting these men could have significant impact in reducing the occurrence of fights due to the high profile of the people involved and where & when the fight occurred.

Sure; I’d have no problem with that. Hockey players have been prosecuted at a much higher rate than most other professional sports for conduct outside the parameters of the game and I’ve always been supportive of that.

I’m not questioning this statement, but can you provide a cite?

I think it’s bullshit and a neanderthal attitude that “fighting is a common and anticipated outcome of professional sports.” I understand that you’re saying it is that way without endorsement, but I’m saying I don’t find that argument anymore persuasive than “boys will be boys” or “she made me do it”.

I disagree vehemently with the bolded part of this phrase: “The violence of professional football is carefully orchestrated. Both offensive and defensive players must be extremely aggressive in their actions, and they must play with reckless abandonment of self-protective instincts.”

We don’t ask police officers to do their job that way and as as society we should not ask entertainers to either, let alone demand it of them.

You can go ahead and make the argument if you want to. But the LA District Attorney has a responsibility to use his or her resources wisely in order to do the most possible good for the people that elected him or her. Pursuing basketball players over a fight that resulted in no serious injury, over the objections of everyone involved, would be a hilariously wasteful way to use those resources.

And the wealth of the participants has little to do with it. If you and I got into a fistfight at Harry’s bar and neither of us was seriously injured, and if neither of us wanted to press charges against the other and if Harry himself didn’t want anyone to be arrested, I promise the police would just ensure that the fight was over and then send everyone home to sleep it off. I would guess this happens hundreds of times a night in the United States. Absent exacerbating factors - serious injury to one of the participants, injury to a bystander, significant property damage, or some more important co-crime - you’re just not going to see a minor fistfight prosecuted. It would be impossible unless your resources were absolutely unlimited, which they are not.

You should have left off the first part of that sentence, IMO.

No, I can’t provide a single comprehensive cite that backs that up; I know of no study that quantifies professional sports league prosecutions for violence during a game.

But in every study I’ve read, every news article I’ve seen on the subject, etc. there are more professional hockey incidents listed than all other sports combined. Telemark’s link is one, for instance.

The Problem of Sports Violence and the Criminal Prosecution Solution is a study into the subject that I found just now by googling and the list of hockey incidents seems to dwarf other sports.

My experience is the same as yours…I also think that hockey seems to have far more incidents than other sports. And Telemark’s link appears to back up that assertion. As does the link you provided.

That’s why I was asking for a cite. Thanks.

Hockey is a sport with ritualized (but serious) fighting that is considered part of the game. No one is going to prosecuted for two goons dropping the gloves and doing a center ice dance for 45 seconds while linesmen circle and break it up as soon as it goes down to the ice. That’s just hockey.

But the fact that hockey has fighting that can be taken up a notch with cheap shots and blindsided attacks, high speed travel, and players are armed with potentially lethal weapons leads to excessive incidents. Violence is an inherent part of hockey in a way that it isn’t for basketball, baseball, or even football. It’s not surprising that players can and do push it beyond the self-imposed limits of the game.

But that just means the lines are drawn in different places. The same principles seem to hold - a level of violence is inherent in fast paced, aggressive, contact sports. The participants accept the potential risk of violence, even outside the rules of the sport, as an inherent risk. The hard part is defining the line at which extra-curricular violence moves from accepted to excessive. You apparently want to define it similar to where it is outside of the context of sports, but the courts seem to disagree. Although the line is moving a bit lower over the years.

players have been charged for attacking other players outside of the context of an “agreed upon” fight. e.g. Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punching Steve Moore from behind, fracturing a few of his vertebrae (among other injuries.) Or Marty McSorely slashing Donald Brashear in the head.

That study I found notes that the courts have addressed this and the consent issues therein:

The courts seem to agree that contact after a play is blown dead or by players on the sidelines is not a part of the game.

(Hey, look! You can disturb the peace during a sports event!)

You’re not seriously trying to equate two men fighting each other with sexual violence?!

Frankly, I’d think it’d have to be about that bad to get outside the governing body of a sport. That, or obvious pre-meditated violence past the bounds of the sport.

I can’t remember. Did Tyson get charged after the second Holyfield fight?

What was the sequence of events? The news only showed a short clip of Rondo landing a left to Paul’s face and Lebron bear-hugging Paul away from the fracas.

They said it was possible, but unlikely. The boxing commission is a layer of government control involved in policing boxers.

Bill Romanowski absolutely should have been charged with assault after he crushed Marcus Williams’ eye( his own teammate )during practice. He was successfully sued for a few hundred grand, but why he was not immediately hauled off for assault I’ll never know.

On this one issue I tend to lean towards Snowboarder Bo, though perhaps rather less extreme. No one was hurt in that dust-up in La and no sane DA would bring charges over such a trivial incident, unlike the Romanowski mess.

But I do believe the league( and all sports leagues )should blow off the old manly-manly attitude and just ban fighting everywhere. Try giving Ingram, Paul and Rondo ten game suspensions - see if that cools their jets. Pitcher throws at someone’s head? Automatic ten game suspension. Bench-clearing brawl? Ten game suspensions for instigators and massive fines for every player who sets foot on the field. Two hockey players shed their gloves and start throwing punches? Automatic ten game suspensions.

Make the penalties draconian enough and you won’t eliminate it all, but you will drastically curtail it. And if ten games isn’t enough, you make it twenty :). Screw tradition - shit traditions belong in the dustbin of history.