On Tuesday evening of this past week two groups of males decided that, at that moment in the celestial calendar, it was the most pertinent time to attempt to beat the other into submission. When two tribes go to war! And that’s where the problem lies, if there is no tribe then there is struggle to come up with a reason to be violent, there is no attachment to a cause. In this case the groups concerned decided a re-enactment of the heady days of the 1970s would be in order and they adorned themselves in the colours of two football clubs: West Ham and Millwall.
Both inside the ground during the game, and outside, before and after, there were clashes between the two groups as well as with the police. As a libertarian if two groups of people wish to do battle to discover who is the better, as long as no innocent bystanders come to harm then there is no problem with consensual violence. It is when thousands of innocent people who wish to watch a football match or indeed go about their daily business in the environs of a football stadium get caught up in it it becomes a problem.
There has long been an association between football and violence, not just in England but across the world, for most who watch it (and play it) it is theIR way of releasing tension, for some though this manifests itself in violence. These people aren’t football fans. They hold more empathy to the violence than they do to the football. These people should be allowed to set up their own alternative sport, something that revolves around groups who can meet up in a field and belt seven shades of leather out of each other. Basically hooliganism needs to become a sport in its own right as long as they all have private health insurance.
In case you wondering: West Ham won the football. As to which group of knuckle dragging cavemen came out on top in the fighting: it was a no- score draw for intelligence.