Ohio State fans block High Street in Columbus, Ohio, early Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, as they celebrate the Buckeye’s 42-20 win over Oregon following the National Championship football game between Ohio State and Oregon. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Ohio State Buckeyes fans did what many hooligans do after their team of choice wins the college football champion on Monday night: they tore sh*t up.
This is not an uncommon practice, but it is no less interesting to see how they were portrayed in the media for their method of “celebration” as opposed to Black people with righteous indignation months prior.
As many as 8,000 people converged on the Ohio State football stadium, known as the Horseshoe, and several hundred forced their way inside, the school said. The crowd tore down a goalpost. The championship game was played outside Dallas.
Police deployed three canisters of tear gas in front of the Ohio Union at about 1:15 a.m. local time and emptied the area, The Columbus Dispatch reported. It said officers also used pepper spray shortly after midnight, with some people leaving the area “with stinging eyes and runny noses.”
A police dispatcher told NBC News that officers were called to reports of trash-bin and couch fires in the streets around the Ohio State campus.
The 89 fires reported to the Columbus Fire Department involved trash bins, dumpsters and couches. The fire department said it responded to three reports of people with injuries in the campus area.
Some police officers used pepper spray to clear an estimated 5,000 revelers from the streets, while canisters of tear gas also were deployed. The crowds began going home within about two hours.
Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said officers tried to use as little force as possible to control those celebrating. She said repeated requests for people to clear the streets were ignored and fire trucks couldn’t get through the crowds to respond to fires.
These people barged in to venues, destroyed property, and set nearly 100 fires, and yet, officers “tried to use as little force as people to control those celebrating.” Their method of “celebration” sounds far more nefarious than those who, only months ago, had righteous indignation in the wake of Michael Brown’s killer, Officer Darren Wilson, escaping any charges for taking the life of an unarmed teenager.
Yet, WTOP refers to them as “revelers” and so does NBC News in a tweet linking to the story. NBC News’ tweet is particularly interesting given the language: “Riot cops used tear gas on revelers in Columbus after Ohio State’s national title win.” If that’s the case, why aren’t they called “revelry cops?”
Those White fans get the luxury of being branded “revelers” even after being caught on camera destroying public property and acted out “in celebration”while the rest of us get branded “thugs” — even when not committing half the acts as these Buckeyes fans. I wonder what the difference is.