Kernel Editorial: Saturday’s State Street ‘celebrations’ disdainful, embarrassing

The “celebrations” after UK’s win over Louisville in the Final Four on Saturday were appalling.

The police used pepper spray moments after the game to try to disperse the crowd around 8:30 p.m., but fans continued to gather.

Fans flipped cars and set them on fire, threw beer bottles at police and created a general scene of mayhem.

This type of behavior is unacceptable.

While property, such as cars, can be replaced, those who participated in Saturday night’s celebrations could have seriously injured others.

And people were injured. As of midnight on Saturday, 12 first-aid runs had been made, said UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson.

And others, though their injuries may not have been reported, were still hurt by the celebrators on Saturday night, including two Kernel photographers. One photographer was hit in the head with a beer bottle and pushed to the ground. The other was pelted on the arm.

Setting cars on fire, which could have exploded and killed people, is not funny. Neither is acting drunkenly and throwing objects at police.

Related link: Thousands start fires, destory cars on State Street after Cats win; UK officials release statements.

Instead, these actions are immature and shameful for other members of the UK community. The rioting overshadows what should have been a light-hearted celebration after the Cats’ win.

Those who participated in the celebrations on Saturday night reflect negatively not only on themselves but the whole university.

Arrests were made on Saturday, and more could be made in the days to come as police review videos of the rioting. More are sure to be made Monday if fans act in such a ridiculous manner.

We, as students, should not condone this behavior. This is not to say students shouldn’t celebrate, but the actions of those on Saturday night were disdainful and embarrassing.

If potential arrests or university punishments aren’t enough to deter students and fans from acting this way, the possibility of seriously injuring someone should.

Jon Freeman says:

shut up drbill you massive spastic

drbill says:

Once again, the gutless administrators of a University show the lack of any moral fiber. What should have occurred was that the Dean of the U. of Kentucky call up the NCAA and tell them that U of K FORFEITS in the championship.
Of course that wouldn’t ever happen because bigtime “amateur” sports dominates these institutions for the revinue brought in by way of TV contracts. WHO CARES WHO WON? BFD. It’s a GAME. Just because the members of an elite team prevail over another team, does not mean YOU won. It means the members of the team won. NO ONE ELSE WON ANYTHING. This egregious behavior coming from a bunch of drunk, stupid, reckless slobs should have been made an example of. Forfeiture would have made the point that this behavior is NEVER acceptable and should NEVER be tolerated.
It’s all about the money, isn’t it? Same thing at Penn St. with their football program, where apparently covering up the actions of a serial child molester and abuser was more important than achieving justice for the victims.
The big time sports on all of the campuses around the country are nothing but corrupting to the morals of everyone involved. And in the end, it is nothing more than middlebrow entertainment for the masses.
Perhaps someday, these vandals will be satisfied by nothing less than seeing contestants fight to the death as they do in the fictional Hunger Games. That’s when human society will be so depraved that “civilization” will no longer have meaning.
Keep it up MORONS, because you are sowing the seeds of your own deminse.

Sally says:

If any fires are gonna be set….start with the crappy dorms. Of course not anyone in them. No injuries!!

Jimmy says:

Stay classy, UK!

magoo says:

People on this board seem to be under the impression that because these people were on State St. that they were also UK students. Believe me (because I was there from beginning to end) when I say that there was a very large contingent of young (and some not so young) people there who never have and never will attend any university.

@Pamela.. Sorry that you had to worry while your husband was probably making overtime pay. Maybe if he and his co workers had actually taken some initiative to do something about the cars being flipped then it wouldn’t have gotten so bad. I am not absolving those responsible…but what good are police if they aren’t enforcing the laws they swear to enforce?

Former UK student says:

I was a student in UK graduate school back in the 1960s. One fine Saturday the UK football team beat Ole Miss AT Ole Miss, which, at that time, was the number one collegiate football team in the nation. There was much celebrating on campus and throughout Lexington that night, but no cars or couches were burned and beer bottles were not thrown at the police. I’m sure the vast majority of UK students who celebrated UK’s win over Louisville also celebrated in a responsible way. Unfortunately, as we learn so often in life, it is the jerks, the idiots, who ruin it all for everyone. I hope the Lexington police will prosecute these misfits to the full extent of the law and I hope the UK administration has the passion and fortitude to give these “students” their walking papers. Obviously these scum do not value the University or the tremendous efforts of its men’s basketball team. Obviously these scum do not value the lives of their fellow human beings.

UK Student says:

I am completely embarrassed by what a few members of BBN did this weekend. As a fellow student, I hope that the ones who burned the couches, flipped and burned cars, and destroyed public property are kicked out of the university.

Come on guys, keep it classy. BBN should show every team that we know how to celebrate and do it responsibly.

Todd says:

I’ll give everybody the advice I gave my daughter this morning. Right now, despite the happyspin put out by the UK admin and the Lexington police, they’re wearing a lot of egg for allowing things to get out of hand early. This is both a national and an international story. You can be certain that the criticism is coming in from many quarters.

Hell, the way that the NYPD and some California departments have aggressively handled nonviolent OWS protests is about half as assertive as the Lexington police should have been Saturday.

My take is that they will now overreact and swing the other way, which means that people who are doing nothing wrong at all WILL GET HURT. When you go out, stay within eyesight of someplace safe that you can enter at the first sign of lined up police, pepper spray, or more than two horses. Stay out of the middle of clusters of people, walk the fringes of the crowds. Get away from car flipping or destruction. Wear hats with bills to protect your faces from randomly thrown bottles. Wear shoes that are leather or thick, that completely enclose your feet.

s.smith says:

Talking Heads Burning Down The House !!!!! GO CATS !!!!!!!!!!

Mark says:

Darn, too bad the cars didn’t explode and injure or kill the rioters. They would have deserved what could have happened for their stupidity.

I hope all the rioters are id’d, arrested, expeled, their transcipts to include their arrests and then pay restitution to all the property owners of cars and businesses wrecked by the rioters.

Dumb ass idiots have to spoil the fun of winning.

JC says:

This incident was a lot worse but in a way it reminds me of the Indiana students rushing the court after beating UK. Most looked at that and knowing the Hoosiers basketball history were astonished. “Act like you’ve been there before” first came to mind then and it fits with UK as well.

Pamela says:

As the wife of a security officer I was appaled and scared by the celbrations on State Street. We moved from another state and it shocked me that there was so much preparation for riot behavior on a college campus prior to the games. The university president, the major, police officials, fire chiefs, and security officials all had to ask for students to not let their celebration get dangerous. Instead I had to wait until the early morning hours, watching in fear as news reporters talked of bottles and possibly other objects being thrown at police who were there to stop serious injury. Was my husband going to come home safe? Would he be hurt or posssibly killed? Did my husband, or hundreds of other pubic servants, get to watch the game? No. He had to report to work on his day off, along with several of his co-workers, and prepare to deal with immature brats who act more like drunken marauding idiots than the students who truly represent UK. I was ashamed for the students on State Street who thought the way to celebrate was to destroy personal property, endanger lives, drink until they had no concept of danger, and generally act like fools. I, for one, am proud the team won but am now stuck in the same situation with my husband working even longer hours in what could be a potentially more dangerous situation. The actions of these thoughtless children has ruined the championship for me and many other UK fans.

Jana says:

As a very proud Kentuckian who is not fortunate enough to live in Kentucky anymore, I am sickened by the behavior of our UK students on State Street. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. It is this type of behavior that gives us such a bad reputation. Most of the Kentuckians I know are very classy. It is unfortunate that those who have no class are the ones that make the news and ruin our good name. I hope this type of behavior doesn’t happen tomorrow if we win the championship. And we wonder why other teams’ fans hate us so much.

Peggy says:

Come on, let’s win with some class! We were the favorite to win this game, and are picked to win the championship. This behavior suggests that it’s a surprise the Cats won! These kids are acting like we’ve never been here before! These are the Kentucky Wildcats! The winningest program in NCAA Div I basketball! We are second only to UCLA in championships! It’s not that shocking that we beat Louisville…I mean, we did it on New Years Eve! Ridiculous! You make UK look like a school for morons!

Pam says:

As a rabid BIG BLUE UK Wildcat fan, I totally DO NOT agree with destructive celebrating! Shame on the few that give the rest of us a bad reputation! You belong in jail!

LexResident says:

Sammie…. correct, these students are not on welfare. BUT, what’s relevant here is burning ANYTHING in this fashion on a residential street where students, or anyone else for that matter, may live. I doubt they went out and purchased cars to turn over, much less one to burn. I know property owners on State St, they can’t be too happy right now. A few yrs back things got out of hand in a not so “perfectly classy” manner in the Woodland/Euclid area—State St was worse though. We all know students are going to drink, get crazy and celebrate over big game wins—we were once students ourselves BUT State St went way too far.

Not too “classy” on your part, telling Priscilla “we’re coming for your car next”.

Cassie Weidner says:

We all know State Street is notorious for being a huge party street for college students. Am I surprised they lit a car on fire? Yes. Should I be? Well, no. People on State St are lucky the car did not explode and they should be thankful to be alive today for what could have but did not happen. What happened on State St is embarrassing. Burning couches are one thing but burning cars comes from plain old stupidity. But why not look to good celebrations. I was on Woodland and Euclid last night. People had fun, I hugged so many strangers, people were on the shoulders of another and it was overall a great time. Sure the police were there but nothing close to the caliber of State Street happened. Be safe and extremely Monday night. Have fun and celebrate but do not be a complete idiot. GO CATS!

LexResident says:

Watching the video… ladies and gentlmen, this is our future generation! DID NOT used to be this way but YES, in agreement w/some of Priscilla’s comment (above). Also, what Mike (above) mentioned about GPA levels at UK—-it’s called the “dumbing down of America”, has happened all over the country thru our educational system AND… here you see the grand results.

Sammie says:

Sorry, Priscilla, that statistic is COMPLETELY irrelevant. Limestone and Euclid/Woodland were perfectly classy celebrations. The ONLY part of the celebration that got out of hand was that on state street–ONE street on all of campus. And it is a student housing, well-known party street. These students are not the ones living on welfare, so I don’t see how this has any relevance at all. The students were burning couches they had specifcally bought earlier that week for this celebration, and they BOUGHT them with money they earned from their jobs. It’s squandering their own money, not something given to them.
I agree it got out of hand, but police knew ahead of time it would get crazy, and they blocked off the street and had riot police early. I say props to the UKPD and LexPD for containing it to one street.

Watch out, Priscilla, we’re coming for your car next.

Matt says:

I celebrated a KU victory in Lawrence last night. Tens of thousands rushed the streets, fireworks were shot up, and yes – police were seen giving high fives to all. I guess we’re just used to this sort of thing? Rock Chalk!

Mike White says:

All the articles I’ve read regarding the “celebrating?” in Lexington after UK’s win over UL refer to some participants as “students”. I think a more appropriate description of them would be “stupids” instead. Criminal behavior such as occurred is totally unacceptable and should be punished severely. Makes one wonder if the GPA levels at UK haven’t plunged to dramatic depths in recent years! That’s all, happy for the win, sorry for the black eye.

Priscilla says:

What? These are our fans, our neighbors, our university students, products of our family values, our education system, our sense of entitlement. Bright red, Bible-thumping Kentucky is one of poorest states and receives welfare from more properous blue states, about $1.51 return for every $1 we pay in federal taxes, so, we’re used to other people paying our way. And, of course, you don’t take any pride in or have any respect for what you don’t earn yourself. Why is this such a big surprise – or such a big outrage? You get what you pay for (and squander what others have to pay for you.) These children of privilege (that’s what we call people who just have things given to them, so all Kentuckians have to own that label) are living right down to the expectations and opportunities this state puts out there for them. Why not own it, embrace it, take pride in it? We created it, after all.