I was deeply moved by Clive Gammon's article (A Day Of Horror And Shame, June 10). I was at the game in Belgium. I was in the section where the wall and fence collapsed. I'm a Liverpool fan, and I know that except for the 200 animals who started the riot, the other 18,800 Liverpool supporters there would like to apologize to the world for what happened.
San Mateo, Calif.
What a shame that such a terrific matchup—Juventus against Liverpool in the European Cup final—had to turn into such a senseless tragedy.
What is also sad is that the only time soccer gets national media coverage in this country is when a tragedy like this occurs. The riot in Brussels was another black mark against the sport of soccer and its development in the United States.
Clive Gammon repeatedly refers to the Liverpudlians responsible for the soccer disaster as animals. This is demeaning to animals. Savages or monsters, yes, but please, not animals.
MATTHEW C. CAMPBELL
Longboat Key, Fla.
As part of your coverage of the soccer riot in Brussels, Craig Neff answered the question, "Can It Happen In The U.S.?" I commend Neff on his reply. As a sports fan, I am faced with the reality that the U.S. has all of the violent characteristics needed to put the country in danger of a riot or some similar occurrence. Neff has informed people about the consequences of mixing sports and alcohol, and for this I, for one, would like to congratulate him.
In 1932 Dr. Charles Gray Shaw, professor of philosophy at New York University, wrote, "The Briton is at heart a gentleman, hence he cannot admit that man is naturally brutal and selfish." It's time that he did.
Those who want in-depth psychological analyses of the British soccer fans who assaulted the Italians in Brussels should take time for a careful and close reading of Alan Sillitoe's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. These authors have been warning us that this kind of thing was coming for the past 25 to 30 years.
DONALD C. STEWART
Professor of English
Kansas State University
How quickly even SI forgets. In your excellent report on the Brussels soccer riot, you rightfully deplore the horrid, senseless violence. Then in the very next article, on the NBA Championship Series (The "Movie Stars" Changed Their Act), you practically glorify it, with lots of references to bullies, longshoremen vs. movie stars, and good old fisticuffs, complete with Alexander Wolff's colorful commentary, "Sock!" "Biff!" "Pow!"
HERBERT W. ZIMMERMAN
Michel Platini, who is featured as the Juventus player in the photograph on page 28 of your June 10 issue, does not appear in the photograph on page 29, contrary to your caption.
I am Platini's brother-in-law, and I am returning today to France after my annual four-week vacation in the U.S. with my Oakland-born wife, Ginnie. Platini thought it was an outrage to play the game after 38 people had died. He did not take part in any postgame celebrations, deeming it obscene in view of the preceding tragedy. And 48 hours after the Heysel Stadium disaster, he spent six hours visiting survivors in six Brussels hospitals before leaving on a three-week vacation in his native France. Michel, I am sure, would like SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to correct the impression that he was able to muster a "triumphant smile" after his penalty kick won the game for Juventus. He wasn't. No thinking human being would be.