NFL reportedly looking into Vikings’ fans allegations of abuse from Philly fans at NFC title game
In a move that will surely please Minnesota Vikings fans still salty about the outcome of the game and how some visiting fans say they were treated, the National Football League is apparently looking into the behavior of Philadelphia Eagles fans at the Jan. 21 NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia, according to a Fargo Forum report.
According to Forum reporter Mike McFeely, the league’s chief security officer says the NFL has spent he last several weeks looking into allegations from Minnesota fans, and “will publicly announce changes that will be implemented going forward.”
According to a Facebook post made by a member of a Vikings fan group, NFL senior vice president and chief security officer Cathy Lanier wrote, “We believe the interviews will help inform some recommendations going forward. … We want to incorporate any lessons learned into future improvements.”
The Forum article says it sent an email to Lanier asking for further comment, and it was replied to by a league spokesman, who said, “We have been speaking to some fans who attended the game to learn more about their experience.”
The spokesman did not reply to another email asking for more details, the Forum reported.
The Eagles hammered the Vikings 38-7 in the NFC Championship game. Several Vikings fans at Lincoln Financial Field later complained about the treatment they say they received from Philadelphia fans before, during and after the lopsided victory.
“They threw full beer cans, threatened to rape some female fans and unleashed a verbal, vulgar assault on anybody wearing purple or cheering for the Vikings,” the Forum report says. “Most of the Vikings fans who experienced the ugliness felt the Philadelphia police and stadium security did little to protect them.”
The Forum report says the NFL has contacted Vikings fans and asked them to detail their experiences, with help from Philadelphia police.
One fan, Eric Johnson, said he spoke with a member of NFL security for 45 minutes on the phone, as well as a Philadelphia police officer.
“The person I talked with from the NFL was really sympathetic and seemed genuinely mad at what happened,” Johnson told the Forum. “The police detective from Philadelphia, I thought, was more just going through the motions. But he did send an email that included our conversation and asked me to look it over, correct any errors and sign it.”
Some of the fans who contacted the NFL, including Johnson, are seeking to be reimbursed for the cost of their ticket to the game, the Forum report says.
Others, though, want the NFL, the Eagles and Philly police to ramp up security for visiting fans at games.