For as long as athletically talented men have gathered in arenas to play competitive sports, smaller awkward men have sought to bask for a few fleeting moments in the reflective glory of stadium lights while streaking naked through the field of play. No record exists on how ancient Greeks or Mayans dealt with streakers. Some rulers, fans, and even gods probably enjoyed these naked preludes as much as the actual competition, while athletic purists likely supported the execution of these transgressors. Today there are still no clear guidelines on how to handle rogue runners. A recent London soccer match highlights the problems that can occur due to this lack of rules, as English footballer, Ashley Vickers, was ejected for tackling a streaker. In this particular case Vickers was entirely justified. He was following an unspoken code of conduct regarding streakers which I believe should be sanctioned by all athletic commissions to maintain the fair, humane, and sporting treatment of streakers.
Nudity: If play is halted by a streaker, said streaker must
be fully nude lest he incur whatever punishment is served him. In this case, the streaker wore a disgraceful neon mankini (think Borat). In doing so he set himself up for a brutal tackle by Vickers.
The Chase: Part of the streaker covenant is that security guards are required to drop whatever they are doing and sprint after the naked runner. In this case, the security guards seemed apathetic to their duties. A few even walked toward the center of the field. Streaking is not a sport unless some uniformed group of authoritarian figures chase the streaker. If the officers avoid their duty, the responsibility falls next to the players who can act collectively or individually. Again, Vickers was in the right.
The Exit: Along with the chase, streaking is not a sport unless the streaker tries to get away. Just as officers are required to chase, the streaker is required to attempt evasive maneuvers, eventually searching for an escape from the stadium. While the security guards were only halfheartedly chasing the London streaker, he didn't make an effort to escape. He merely loitered in the center of the field, waving. After a customary twenty seconds of stalling, the streaker again leaves himself open to a blitz by a player or a fan. Vickers waited well over this 20 second period before springing into action.
Because the streaker was in clear violation of standard streaker protocol, Vickers was within his rights to tackle the streaker with such force as to knock off the runner's merkin. For his efforts Vickers wrongly received a red card and was ejected from the game. At least the security guards acknowledged Vickers' fair play, thanking him for a job well done.