Notice This Racial Double Standard in the Coverage of These Rioting Denver Broncos Fans?


The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 on Sunday night, leading tons of fans to go out into the streets to celebrate. But some got rowdier than others, and in this case, some did what can only be described as riot. By night's end, at least a dozen were arrested in the melee:

It's not the first time that sports fans have rioted after a big victory.

But when Americans decide to riot in celebration, they get slapped on the wrist. When black people riot as an extension of their frustration with state violence, they get lambasted in national media and hit with even more punitive public policy. They're "animals" or "losers," in the words of Kevin Sorbo, the white actor who criticized Ferguson protesters. 

Take a look at just a few examples:

In 2010, after the San Francisco Giants won their first World Series in more than 50 years, fans took to the streets and caused mayhem:

Noah Berger/AP

And then again after the team won in 2014:

Josh Edelson/Getty Images

In 2011, the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup hockey championship and poured out into the streets in Canada, where dozens were arrested and injured: 

Elsa/Getty Images

In 2015 Ohio State University's football team won a college championship, which led to a night in which firefighters had to put out almost 90 fires:

Paul Vernon/AP

In each instance, the violence was more or less written off by the public at large. At worst, it was just poor decision-making by overzealous fans. 

But it wasn't in Baltimore, after Freddie Gray was killed by police:

Matt Rourke/AP

Or Ferguson, after Mike Brown was shot dead by Darren Wilson:

David Goldman/AP

Or Brooklyn, New York, after 16-year-old Kimani Gray was killed by police:

Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Or Oakland, California, after video of Oscar Grant's death at the hands of a transit officer went viral:

Noah Berger/AP

It seems like violence is OK if it's a celebration, but not if it's a struggle.