Two weeks ago at a New York Jets game, an altercation took place that grabbed the attention of many people. After the football game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., a bar fight took place in which Kurt Paschke, a Jets fan, punched Jaclyn Nugent, a New England Patriots fan, in the face. Nugent and a female friend allegedly punched and kicked Paschke in the head and body before the violent retaliation. This sparked a great deal of public controversy.
First, I feel the need to make it absolutely clear that I believe violence is an inappropriate response and a man should never harm a woman.
The violent acts were caught on video, and it was obvious that Nugent and her friend were the aggressors in the altercation. Now, would the women have inflicted much harm on the man who appeared twice their size? Probably not. Does the fact that the women provoked Paschke justify his actions? The answer is no.
I do believe, however, that Nugent thought she was exempt from scrutiny as a woman. This female Patriots fan probably thought that because she is a woman, her attack on the male Jets fan would seem harmless to others and not trigger a violent reaction. If, in fact, this was going through Nugent’s mind, it negates all of the hard work that women have done up to this day and age to achieve gender equality equal to men. By identifying herself as a woman rather than as a social equal, she thought she could hide behind her status to avoid the consequences of her actions.
People are responsible for their actions and the consequences that arise, no matter their age, gender, race or culture. Of course, young children may not know any better than to act irresponsibly at times, but those of proper age and reason must always remember responsibility.
A person represents what he or she stands for by the way he or she acts. For example, when an American travels abroad, his or her actions, whether he or she likes it or not, are being analyzed by others. The way one acts abroad is a representation of oneself as an American. Anything we do within our borders or abroad is a direct representation of our country.
I was watching CBS News a few days after the violent altercation at MetLife Stadium, and the network aired viewer comments about the event. Some viewers said that Paschke is a monster, and others said that Nugent had it coming to her. To me, the crux of the confrontation is not about justifying violence or not, but how these people represented themselves and who or what they represent. Paschke not only gave himself a bad name, but he gave Jets fans a bad name. Similarly, Nugent’s choice to instigate this confrontation made her look bad and misrepresented such as New England Patriots fans and maybe even female football fans.
The old proverb “Actions speak louder than words” still holds true, so always be wary of those you may be representing before making any rash or regrettable choices.