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Fans Should Be Free to Root for Their Team

July 17, 1993

As an American and a spectator at the USA vs. Brazil volleyball match at the Forum on July 9, I was disturbed and confused as to why the Brazilian fans were suppressed. The Brazilians are very patriotic, especially when they excel in something, and in particular when they supersede the Americans, i.e. in volleyball.

I observed the head of security at the Forum as he executed a prejudice against the Brazilian rooting section, threatening to take away the Brazilian flag if displayed, and this was before the game. The ushers confiscated yellow and green balloons that a youth organization brought to cheer on the team and a couple of kids with their faces painted were kicked out of the arena. All the while, across the way, the American flag was being displayed by fans of the USA.

In a city of mixed cultures and diversity, of many sporting events and teams, and the 1984 Olympic host, it is a shame that paying fans of another bias are not encouraged to cheer for their teams in whatever non-threatening, nonviolent manner that all fans have always enjoyed. Why not this game? Was it to ensure a long-awaited victory for the American team? Brazil won three games in a row by a wide margin.

Should the oppression of the fan be allowed in a city that will host the World Cup soccer competition? Let the games begin?

STEPHANIE DE MORAES

Los Angeles

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