Protests and riots have taken place around the country following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Responses to the demonstrators have been strong, but actor LeVar Burton believes that this is evidence of a double standard. He made this point clear while referencing sports-related riots.
"When a sports team wins or looses (sic) a championship and people gather in large numbers and light s— in fire those actions are somehow categorized differently. You want to focus on the destruction of property go right ahead. You do you," Burton tweeted on Friday. He made this comment in response to a Twitter user saying that he was "trying to justify" looting.
Burton sent a series of tweets on Friday about the ongoing protests and the responses from outsiders. He said to not "f— with him" and said that he is searching for the underlying problem. Burton wondered about the "different standards."
There have been several instances of sports fans wreaking havoc when their favorite team wins or loses during important games. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 21, 2018, securing a trip to Super Bowl LII. In response, the Eagles fans climbed light poles, flipped over cars, smashed store windows and ate horse feces.
Similar situations have taken place around the country for a variety of reasons. Tennessee Volunteers fans rioted after head coach Lane Kiffin departed for USC after only one season. Another situation required police officers having to use pepper spray to turn back fans after the University of Kentucky won a game during the Final Four of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Los Angeles has seen multiple riots following significant sports events. In 2010, the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. The fans responded by rioting in the streets. Many threw bottles and debris at police officers while others set fires on the roads leading away from the arena.
Authorities said that there were multiple injuries during the incident but no deaths. The police also arrested roughly 12 people for vandalism and other public disturbances. To disperse the crowd, the police fired non-lethal rounds at those taking part in the riot.
This incident was the third time that Lakers fans rioted following a win in the NBA Finals. Similar situations occurred in 2000 and 2009, which resulted in extensive property damage across the city. Revelers also threw bottles and rocks at police officers during the incidents.
Violent incidents have become a common occurrence in the sports world, but the outside opinions have varied. Those overturning cars were described as "revelers" instead of "thugs." Burton wanted to know why there was a difference.