Auburn fan writes open letter about mistreatment in Athens
Reddit user relaxing_recursively wrote a concerning review of his trip to Athens, Georgia, for Saturday night’s Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. The post on the Reddit CFB board received quite a response from the community in the comments section.
While every fan base has some ugly fans that can make college football fans look bad, this experience is definitely one of the worst ones documented.
Dear UGA fans,
Let me first say that this is 100% honest, and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I genuinely hope that UGA and /r/CFB fans don’t get upset about the contents of this “letter,” as it is intended to be a genuine request for those fans who frequent /r/cfb, and who I know to be – for the most part – class acts. Please – PLEASE – read this, and correct these wrongs when you see them happen in Athens. I know /r/cfb regulars enjoy posts about how fanbases are good hosts, but this is sadly not one of those posts.
The experience we (my group of friends) had in Athens this weekend was – in a word – awful. Not because of the game, but because of the way we were treated. I am asking UGA fans to remedy this as best they can in future games.
First, it’s important to detail what actually happened. Let’s start with Friday night. We decided to go to a few bars in Athens, because Athens is certainly known for its bar scene. Note that for the most part we were dressed in neutral colors, although one of us had on an Auburn ball cap and a girl had on a blue scarf with orange trim. Before we entered the first bar we were boo’d. Okay, whatever, it’s a rivalry. But then it got taken too far. By the end of the night, I had two drinks thrown at me (and not by anyone I had talked to). The guy in the ball cap had a glass beer bottle thrown in his direction, and later realized he was bleeding. We were spat at (literally) and cussed out. Two of the girls were in tears, and one (the one with the scarf) was genuinely scared she would be assaulted. She got rid of the scarf because she was scared it was making her a target. It’s in some dumpster downtown now. We called it an early night and got the hell out of dodge.
So, Saturday. Okay, gametime. Maybe those were just drunks last night, and we had some bad luck. Who knows. Nope. Spat at. CONSTANTLY. I did NOT understand why grown men were literally spitting at me on a regular basis. It was insane. I lost count at 20. I had more drinks thrown at me (although this time it was soda, as we were in the stadium). Luckily I had a waterproof hood on my jacket, so that stayed up the rest of the game. Cussed out again. Leaving the stadium the guys in our group surrounded the girls, at their request, because they did not feel safe (and we left early, both because of the way the game was going and the way the fans were treating us). I was hit upside the back of my head a couple times walking out. I should mention that the girls were being called extremely vulgar things almost the entire game, as well as the night before.
Out of genuine fear for our own safety and well-being, we did not go out that night, but instead stayed at our host’s place.
Based on stories I have heard today from other Auburn fans who visited, similar experiences occurred. Spitting on Auburn fans was apparently extremely common, especially the girls. Being screamed at and cussed out were commonplace.
Based on my experiences this weekend, I know Athens is a town I would never take a family to, if I were a father. I know that the only way I would brave it again is if I were in a group composed entirely of adult males, and even then I would not enjoy it – and that is NOT a reaction I should have to visiting another college.
Please, UGA fans on here. Fix this. Visiting fans should not be scared of your town. I know Athens to be a beautiful place, and an excellent city with great attractions. I have been there outside of football, and I loved it. Please, please try to make it more welcoming to the visiting team.
A concerned Auburn fan
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