Monday, 4 September 2017

Roughriders’ Carter has right to be upset at alleged incident

This photo of Duron Carter led to uncovering an alleged incident.
    I never expected posting a harmless photo on social media would uncover a disappointing alleged incident.
    Following the Saskatchewan Roughriders 38-24 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Labour Day Classic on Sunday at new Mosaic Stadium in Regina, I posted a photo of Roughriders receiver Duron Carter giving high-fives to fans of the host side during the pre-game introduction of the team.
    Since joining the Roughriders, Carter has been tremendous in interacting with Rider Nation, and that photo of him meeting the faithful along the bottom row of the Pil Country section was a great representation of that.
    What I didn’t clue into was the fact something ran afoul, when I was at that contest as a ticket buyer. During my drive from Regina back to Saskatoon on Monday, I received a couple of messages that my picture of Carter was going viral.
    Upon arriving in Saskatoon, I found Carter’s Twitter post alleging a Bombers fan spat on him and that my photo was taken before that alleged incident happened.

    He wrote that Bombers fans were the “Worst fans in the league.”
    At that point, I wanted to check my photos immediately after the one I posted of Carter and the Roughriders fans. Thinking back, I remembered fullback Spencer Moore followed Carter to start high-fiving fans too, and I tried to get photos of Moore as well.
    I remember seeing Carter peel back to the Roughriders bench looking upset. I found a shot later on in my sequence further down the row of a small group of Winnipeg fans mixed in with the Roughriders supporters.
    I tweeted to Carter asking if those Bombers fans in the picture were the problem ones. He replied by identifying the alleged spitter as the fan with blue and gold face paint.

    On top of that, I found another post of a picture of a Winnipeg fan trying to rip the head off of Roughriders mascot Gainer the Gopher.
    CBC reporter Alicia Bridges contacted Regina Police, and they said they were aware of an incident between a fan and the mascot. The Police said there were no formal complaints and no criminal investigation into either claim.
    On Twitter, fans responded with most expressing sympathy for Carter, and some apologized on behalf of Bombers fans. There were fans that sent chirps Carter’s way too, but those were in the minority.
    I am pretty certain something happened to upset Carter, and due to the fact the alleged incident happened pre-game, there is a likelihood it was on the unprovoked side. When Carter scored a touchdown in the south end zone in front of Pil Country in the second quarter, he did taunt the Winnipeg fans in that section likely due to what happened pre-game.
Duron Carter, left, does a TD celebration on Sunday.
    The 26-year-old had an outstanding game hauling in 10 passes for 101 yards.
    At this point, I believe Carter’s claims of the alleged incident. How it plays out for the rest of the week remains to be seen.
    I suspect the incident will come up during media interviews on Tuesday.
    Overall no matter what walk of life you are in, you morally can’t spit on a person. It is just wrong, and it crosses all sorts of lines. Carter has every right to be upset over what happened.
    On the Winnipeg side, the actions of a couple of people don’t reflect the entire fanbase.
    Back in the day, the Bombers had their section of rowdies that inhabited the east side of their former home in the now demolished Winnipeg Stadium. There were a lot of times you didn’t want to sit on the east side of Winnipeg Stadium, if you were a fan of a Bombers opponent due to fears that you might be harmed.
    In today’s day, the large majority of Bombers fans, especially the one that travel to Regina for the Labour Day Classic, are good. At this year’s Labour Day Classic, I spent an hour pre-game hanging out with Winnipeg fans at “Wayne’s World,” which is the party spot for Bombers fans located across the street from Taylor Field, which is the Roughriders old stadium.
    All my interactions with Winnipeg fans were good ones, and just over a year ago, I wrote a column about how Winnipeg fans add to the atmosphere of the Labour Day Classic in a good way.
    With that said, every sports team has bad apple fans, and Carter wrote in another tweet he wouldn’t condone terrible “fansmanship” for any team.

    At the moment, I believe it is too early to determine what affect it will have on the next encounter between the Roughriders and Bombers, when the Bombers host “the Banjo Bowl” at 1 p.m. Winnipeg time on Saturday at Investors Group Field.
    A search over Twitter occurred on Monday in an effort to find the accused spitter.
    If the accused spitter is found, I would suspect there would be some sort of ban from attending CFL games, but depending what is said, I don’t believe the ban should be a permanent one.
    As far as a criminal aspect is concerned, that would rely on how Carter felt about how things play out in the coming days. The same would go for how the person inside the suit of Gainer the Gopher felt about the Bombers fan that tried to rip his mascot head off, if an accused is found in that situation.
    When the Roughriders and Bombers meet on Saturday, I hope everyone in attendance remembers the two teams are just playing a game, and it is not life versus death struggle.

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