Beckham Experiment Descends Into Fear And Loathing, Lesson In The Subjectivity Of PerceptionS

Beckham played his first home game back with the Galaxy yesterday, and things got ugly. Either a fan nearly attacked him (per the U.S. press), or he nearly attacked a fan (per the Brits). It's like Rashomon in shinguards!

Here's how the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott saw it:

Incensed at remarks hurled at him by fans sitting in a corner of the Home Depot Center, Beckham approached them to urge them to calm down. One hurdled the barrier separating the stands from the end zone and was escorted away by security officers.

Here's the Associated Press:

As Beckham left the field at halftime, he went over to the section where one of the team's support groups holds court and appeared to shout. A fan jumped down from the seating section and was subdued by security before being escorted off the field.

Now, across the pond, here's the Guardian:

David Beckham was involved in an ugly confrontation with fans at his first home game for the Los Angeles Galaxy after returning from Italy and his spell with Milan. The midfielder attempted to jump over a barrier as he left the field at half-time into a section of the crowd that had been jeering him.

The former England captain was held back by security staff, who also needed to restrain an angry fan who left his seat and rushed towards the footballer.

And the London Times:

The former England captain attempted to jump over a barrier as he left the field at half-time into 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.

The video below — and particularly this one here — would seem to support the Brits' view of the confrontation. (Let's pause here to imagine the national panic that would ensue if this were Rasheed Wallace at Conseco Fieldhouse instead of a celebrity free-kick taker in Carson, Calif. My God. Around the Horn would look like a meeting of survivalists.) I'm sure there will be a lot of handwringing over what the failure of the Beckham experiment means for American soccer, but this incident, at least, suggests two important milestones have been reached: Crapulent soccer fans are getting themselves arrested at games, and the American soccer press is going out of its way to suck up to the stars.

David Beckham doesn't get a royal welcome [Los Angeles Times]
For Beckham, a Rude Welcome Back to Los Angeles [AP, via NYT]
David Beckham in ugly confrontation with LA Galaxy fan [Guardian]
David Beckham confronts jeering LA Galaxy fans [Times Online]