Just days after a Carolina Panthers’ fan made national news for fighting at a game, the Charlotte Checkers have released a hilarious “In-Arena Safety Video” alerting fans to the dangers of watching hockey.
The timing is coincidental to the Panthers incident, but opportune. The video was conceived months ago and premiered on screens at Bojangles’ Coliseum during the Checkers’ Oct. 13 season opener (one day after the infamous Panthers game brawl).
In the video, Checkers staff demonstrate the various dangers facing fans, with Senior Vice President Shawn Lynch sitting in the stands as hockey sticks, pucks, popcorn, a stuffed unicorn and even a Checkers player fly into the seats behind him. (Turns out the player is a mannequin.)
“In the interest of safety, please be aware that...objects may fly into the spectators area,” Lynch said. “Yeah, you’re going to want to pay attention.”
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The team’s announcer, Brian Stickley, goes onto warn such objects can be dangerous and cause serious injury. As he’s speaking, a player slams into the glass just feet from him. “Please inform children in your care of these risks,” Stickely said.
Finally, a warning is issued against throwing objects onto the ice and using profane language. Brawling is also banned – unless you’re one of the players. The warning is followed by a sweet young girl, her hair in a ponytail, screaming edited profanity at one of the players.
Ejection from the coliseum and possible arrest by police could occur if such rules are broken, said Checkers staffer Jason Shaya.
To demonstrate, a well-dressed Shaya is shown being dragged out by security staff and tossed onto the sidewalk (head first into a sign). “No, no, no, guys. I said ‘puck’,” Shaya said to the guards, as he lies on the concrete.
Subtle, it’s not. But this is hockey.
The video was posted Oct. 17 on YouTube, five days after a 62-year-old Panthers fan was punched repeatedly by another man fan at Bank of America Stadium. Video of the attack was widely covered by the media, and led to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police charging Kyle Adam Maraghy, 26, of Charlotte with simple assault. The incident occurred during the Panthers game against the Philadelphia Eagles.