Football games can sometimes get ugly, but it’s more unusual to see a brawl break out at a charity football game, especially one between the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York. That’s what happened Saturday, though, as you can see in the video below, from NBC 4 New York’s Ray Villeda:
Here’s more on what happened, from Villeda’s story:
“I think one of the FDNY guys exchanged words with the NYPD player and then from there, I couldn’t see what was happening, I just saw the crowds come around the player,” said Angel Zayas, a freelance photographer who was filming the game on the sidelines. “I heard it happening before I saw it happening.”
Zayas watched one of the firefighters walk away with blood dripping down the side of his face.
“He was pulled out of the crowd, the FDNY guy,” he said. “It was trickling out the side, you could see the blood on the side of his head.”
Moments later, a second fight broke out, and players on the sidelines ran to the center of the field to jump in as families watched from the stands.
Zayas described another FDNY member being tackled, “and then they surround him and everyone jumps into the center of that.”
Then the arguing, fighting and tackling subsided, and the crowd cheered and applauded in an attempt to encourage the goodwill. Handshakes and hugs were exchanged between the red and the blue, and a man could be heard telling one of the teams: “Listen up. Don’t embarrass yourselves, you hear me?”
It sounds like an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming to life, but apparently that’s just what happens when the NYPD and the FDNY compete against each other; the two sides also brawled during a charity hockey game last year.
For their part, the NYPD issued a release downplaying this weekend’s incident:
“Football is a competitive sport, whether it is the NFL Super Bowl or the annual NYPD-FDNY challenge. It is part of the spirit of the sport, but it all ends on the field.”