Beckham confronts Galaxy fans after jeers
Monday 20 July 2009
David Beckham was involved in an ugly confrontation with fans at his home return game in Los Angeles.
The former England captain attempted to jump over a barrier as he left the field at half-time to approach a section of the crowd that had been jeering him.
He was held back by security staff, members of whom were also needed to restrain an angry fan who left his seat and rushed towards the footballer.
Beckham said he had tried to shake a supporter's hand.
"The majority of the fans have been great," Beckham said afterwards in comments broadcast on Sky Sports News.
On the boos, he added: "It's to be expected. Sometimes it goes beyond it. I tried to shake one of the guy's hands but he didn't want any of it. That's the way it is."
Beckham received a less than friendly welcome at his first home game for LA Galaxy after returning from a five-month loan spell at AC Milan - the team LA faced.
A hardcore section of the crowd booed Beckham every time he touched the ball and held aloft signs reading "Go Home Fraud" and "23: Repent" in reference to his shirt number.
Another read: "Hey Becks, Here Before You, Here after You, Here Despite You" while one stated: "Is evil something u are...or something u do?"
Earlier this year, Beckham indicated he wanted to stay in Milan rather than return to America, stating that the standard of play was far higher in Italy.
The apparent snub has angered some LA fans, notably a hardcore that sit in the so-called LA Riot Squad section.
Throughout the first half of the game he was subjected to jeers and obscene chants.
After the referee blew for half time, Beckham tried to hurdle an advertising boarding and appeared to make a "come on" gesture towards fans.
In response, one man left his seat, jumped down onto the pitch and attempted to run towards Beckham. At this point security intervened and escorted Beckham to the changing room, while removing the fan from the pitch.
Despite the incident, Beckham returned in the second half. He was the last man to take to the pitch and hugged several of his former AC Milan teammates before gesturing towards the rowdy section of the crowd.
A line of yellow-jacketed security staff stood below the supporters in the trouble area as a precaution.
In the 65th minute Beckham assisted in the scoring of an LA Galaxy goal. After doing so he turned and shrugged his shoulders in the direction of the section of crowd that had been jeering him.
Beckham was substituted in the 75th minute and walked off to a mixture of cheers and boos. The friendly match ended 2-2.
Some fans later accused Beckham of betraying the club.
Ricardo Vigil, 28, from Los Angeles, said: "So Beckham comes over here, he starts saying 'Come down here, come down here', so our guy went down there. He called out one of our guys.
"We boo a lot of players - they don't come out and challenge our guys. We're just here as fans.
"A security guy got our guy and security held him back.
"He was like 'Come here, come here, come here'. He instigated that.
"We were a little upset. He betrayed our team but don't come calling out one of our fans, that doesn't happen.
"I don't think he wants to be here, I think he should go."
Eric Lewis, 43, also from LA, said: "He called the guy out. He called out a drunk fan.
"How stupid is that? He's the player, he's the professional.
"He should have kept himself under control and he didn't.
"He shouldn't have done that, it was dumb. The guy was inebriated, Beckham should have known that.
"For a player to call out a fan is ridiculous, it's stupid."
He added: "He says he's full of class and he's been playing with all the best teams in the world. That showed absolutely no class.
"He's already gone. We don't even have to make that choice."
But Shawn Cervantez, 22, from Sacramento, said Beckham did not appear to be looking for a confrontation when he approached the fans.
She said: "As soon as half time started he came over here and it appeared to me he was coming over here to make amends.
"He had his hand out to shake a hand and then one of the guys was giving him the middle finger and I guess they got aggressive with each other and the guy came over the wall and started to attack him.
"It was unbelievable, really.
"I think that their complaints are legitimate but I think that's a bit much.
"Their signs are asking him to prove to them that he's here and that they want him to ask for forgiveness.
"I think that was his gesture when he came over here."
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