The only reason football goers aren't violent themselves is because they get all their violent tendencies out by proxy on the ground. Let's be honest - regardless of whether it's on a footy oval or outside a King St nightclub, for every punch that's thrown, there are dozens of others getting their rocks off over the act and egging it all on. Football does nothing to reduce the culture of violence. If anything, it promotes it.
At the very same game that the petitioners were campaigning outside, one player was knocked unconscious, which led to an all-in melee (which is politically correct AFL-speak for brawl). And this is the place they chose as an example of well-behaved crowds? I bet nobody left the game in disgust.
Don't get me wrong, I'm for harm minimisation. People have violent tendencies. We're never going to eradicate that, so we might as well manage it. If it helps people get it out of their systems by going to a stadium and watching a few dozen blokes who chose to be in that situation going at it, then that's fine by me. Better that, then hospitalising some poor bugger who accidentally spilt your drink. Just don't tell me that football crowds are in it for good clean fun, because I don't believe it.
Check out these highlights and lowlights from today's game and see if you think it encourages people to reject violence. Such scenes are not atypical of any AFL match.