Would soccer lout act that way in front of his mother?

What makes a man run onto a football pitch and attack another man whom he has never met? Tribalism? Hyper masculinity? Hyper stupidity? The outcome for the man who recently ran onto the pitch at Birmingham City to assault an Aston Villa player 10 minutes into the derby was a lifetime ban from his own football club, a 10-year ban from all matches, fines, and 14 weeks in jail.

Oh, and widespread derision. Was it worth it?

The very same weekend, a Man U player was shoved by an Arsenal supporter who also ran onto the pitch. Why? What did these fans hope to achieve? Did they magically think they could influence the game? Why do some male supporters — but not female supporters — end up being banned from the very thing that gives them a core sense of identity?

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