Hopefully by now you have seen this video of a bunch of Tech Bros (allegedly Dropbox employees) trying to kick some teenagers off a soccer field in one of San Francisco's many neighborhoods in which real people are being displaced by this decade's version of Gordon Gekko.

The root cause of this incident, leaving aside the social tensions and gentrification issues in SF for the moment, is a simple misunderstanding. Apparently the park district has made some kind of policy change that allows fields to be reserved and they haven't done a great job of communicating that to residents. It's not that the Army of Bros is wrong to be peeved. But you would think that just one of them, or possibly even more than one, would be aware enough to say "You know, there's no way we are going to come out of bossing around and arguing with a bunch of teenagers looking like anything but assholes." It's like these people have some kind of status-induced autism that makes them completely oblivious to what is an appropriate way to conduct oneself in public.

It might have made more sense to leave and call the park district in an effort to get them to resolve the problem on future weekends. I mean, that's what a normal adult might have done. Instead, they decided to let the world get a good look at who they really are and trot out every Frat Asshole cliche on the planet. On camera.

I can never tell if these people honestly don't understand that they are being huge assholes or if they figure that they're so rich they don't have to care what anyone else thinks.

38 thoughts on “MY DAD OWNS A DEALERSHIP”

  • I’m a middle class honkie through and through and a hardcore basketball junkie. I started playing at 5 and finally gave up in my late 40’s because my knees were shot. Wherever I’ve lived I’ve played pick up hoops on public courts. I’ve played with everyone – white, black, Hispanic, Asian, young, old, male, female, rich, poor….and never, not once, had a problem with court time. We somehow managed to work it out without rancor. A limited resource (there are never enough courts on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon) with far too many people looking for access and somehow we always made it work without being dicks.
    Congratulations bros – you managed to fuck what I had previously considered unfuckable.

  • The 'tech bros' could have handled it better, but it was their space. Field space where I live is always at a premium, and the city rents them to a variety of sports. There are a ton of painful interactions around this very issue all the time. It sucks to kick someone off, but there really isn't any recourse. The city won't do anything, and there isn't someone around who arbitrates transitions. If you don't kick off the previous renter, you'd never get your game in.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    "I can never tell if these people honestly don't understand that they are being huge assholes or if they figure that they're so rich they don't have to care what anyone else thinks."

    It's not necessarily an either-or proposition.
    It could be both.
    And it is, in fact, both.

  • How timely! I just made a business trip to San Francisco, and the whole place impressed me with a sort of mellow Darwinism–made for the rich, strong, and young, and woe to anybody who doesn't fall into those categories.

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    I went to school out there, back when everything was on a human scale. Don't think I'd like to go back there now.

  • Sagas, it sounds like those of you who use the fields need to take up your issues with the city. If they are going to charge people, then they should put some kind of process in place to make sure conflicts don't arise.

    Here's what I don't understand, though: why didn't they all play together? Seems like the best solution.

  • Gerald McGrew says:

    As someone in the soccer world, I can relate to the problems of the "bros" (but not necessarily their attitude). As far as they know, they went through the city's process and paid for field time. When they show up at the time they paid for, some kids were on the field. Now you're in the unenviable position of having to tell teenagers that you reserved the field and they have to leave.

    You don't have to be a dick about it, but it's kinda hard to not be. I mean, how do you tell kids they have to leave in a non-dickish manner? Especially when they're questioning that you really did pay, even after you show them your receipt?

    We get this a lot in our neck of the woods, and Spokane is about as opposite to today's San Francisco as you can get in a city. Our team shows up to play on a specific field at a specific time they've reserved, and there's kids on it. So we have to tell them to leave. The kids almost always get pissed off and yell at us, but….whaddya gonna do? Usually we just say "Sorry, but we have this field reserved" and go on.

    So I wonder if someone filmed me doing that, would I become the dick of the month?

  • The whole idea of renting out the field is repulsive to begin with. It's like someone designed a scheme to make the Mission user-hostile to its existing resident base in order to push them out and make room for more tech bros that can pay the fees. As Linda pointed out, be young, rich, and strong or GTFO.

  • Mothra, the city doesn't do anything- and really they shouldn't have to. Are they going to have a person at every set of fields in the city? Complicating things, many times the person who rented the fields isn't there- it's some volunteer from the rec league who rented all the fields for the whole season for the entire league.

    My experience is a lot like Gerald's – Ultimate Frisbee, not soccer, although we share/compete for field space. The people who are on the field should just be gracious and leave, but that doesn't always happen. And then when Gerald's soccer team starts their game 20 minutes late because they had to kick off kids, they want to stay 20 minutes later…. and we have to kick them off. Sorry Gerald!

  • Looks to me like the locals were waiting there to start some shit with the guys who had paid to reserve the field. It seems like they were already pissed off before anything happened. I didn't see the yuppie guys say or do anything objectionable. Maybe I'm missing something?

  • SeaTea – what you're missing is that it's a neighborhood field that these kids are getting kicked out of so a bunch of rich guys can play a game.

    If you've never been in a situation where a shared community resource is suddenly yanked away from you so that rich people can use it, then I don't know what to say. But I suspect that the kids involved were fed up and wanted to make sure that someone knew that they were tired of being stepped on. And they filmed it and posted it to make that point.

    Good for them. This kind of non-violent protest is a good start in reclaiming your neighborhood resources back from people who want to steal them from you just because they happen to have money and they've found someone in the city government who can be easily bought.

  • This is an example of the ongoing destruction of the commons. Parks now often require citizens to pay for entry or rent spaces that had always been free.

    One of the few recreational spaces available to everyone now requires payment. Being broke just keeps getting shitier.

  • A quick update from an SF local (god bless rent control!): the tech bros and their company (Dropbox) issued an apology for their behavior, and it turns out that they did in fact go on to play with the teenagers that day, so hopefully this story can have a kinda-sorta happy ending. The entitlement and dipshittery of the bros aside, the real fault here is with the Park and Rec Dept, which started renting out the field in question on certain days but did a piss poor or nonexistent job of communicating that fact to the community. When I worked as a local reporter (back when such things still existed) I used to marvel at the stupidity of the people who worked at Parks and Rec. Apparently, it hasn't improved much in the intervening years.

  • Never underestimate the asshole-making power of gobs of money earned, or otherwise received, very quickly. For a year, I lived with a good friend of mine from high school who had just received his trust-fund. Long story short, he has since apologized to me for being such a piece-of-shit during that time.

  • San Francisco used to be one of my favorite cities, but is fast falling out of favor. The prices are astronomical. The hotel I used to stay in, which was pricey, used to go for $200 a night, as late as this past spring. It was expensive, but it was a special occasion treat. I checked the other day, and they now want between $400 and $500 a night. I don't have any occasions that special.

    One-bedroom apartments now go for $3,500 to $4,500 a month, depending on the neighborhood. Landlords want you to earn three times the monthly rent. So just to enter the market, you need to make $125,000 a year or more.

    The housing prices are because the techie kids who work down the peninsula want to play in the city. So, their companies provide buses that pick them up and bring them back for free. If they had to drive or take piblic transportation with – ugh – common people, most of them would stay in Mountain View or wherever.

    The buses are completely out of place in the city — giant, gleaming coaches with no markings and dark tinted windows. They might as well be carrying alien storm troopers.

    Some techie douchebags have written an app. It's a web crawler that scopes out available restaurant reservations and scoops them up in milliseconds. Then, they'll sell them to you.

    My favorite techie-yuppie-asshole moment was the nouveau-riche youngster who was miffed becaue he had to wait a few seconds as an old lady negotiated the steps of a bus. "I'm really in a hurry. Can't these old people just take Uber?"

  • Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    anadromy: "When I worked as a local reporter (back when such things still existed) I used to marvel at the stupidity of the people who worked at Parks and Rec."

    This does seem to be almost universal. The official name in San Francisco is actually the Recreation and Parks Department, hence the local nickname "Wreck the Parks."

    But I gotta say they are more woefully underfunded and understaffed than truly incompetent, and they're generally doing their best to serve a huge demand and maintain lots of facilities without adequate resources. I hear that's nearly universal, too.

  • I live a block away from this soccer field. I'm from Michigan (Flint) , been in SF for over 35 years. My 2 cents, the Dropbox dudes should have known with all the news of the blockage of the Google buses and the gentrification recently here in the city and the bad press there may be a bit of resentment on the part of the guys who have played here every day and are being forced out.
    This is (was) their neighborhood and they are being squeezed out.
    How could they not have handled this differently and finally come to the conclusion to say hey… about we play together?……. Fuck what does that take??????????? I learned that years ago how to compromise. What the Fuck is wrong here. That being said this is a very sensitive topic and welcome the comments here.

  • Oh Yeah I forgot to mention I like this site Ed, found you through
    John Cole, any many other sites you have listed. ;D

  • Ed, I think you're seeing a little more sympathy here for the bros than you might have expected. The bros like soccer, they made a reservation, and they were forthright about saying so. The local guy in the argument starts going on about being a local not because it's a good argument, but because he realized he's wrong about the rules and complaining about tech bros is a play for sympathy. The problem here, at least, isn't that "rich people are assholes", although they may be, or that these dudes are rich, which they may well not be — a lot of people work for these tech companies who are not rolling in it — but that our society works in such a way that some people (generally rich) have privileged access to the rules, and to reservations, and therefore are advantaged with respect to those rules.

  • Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    The law, in its magnificence, allows everybody whether rich or poor to rent spaces previously public commons…

  • Skipper: explain to me how privately funded buses are a bad thing. As I see it, they cut down on the number of cars on the streets, and they use private funds to enhance public transportation. They bring people into the city to spend money, which is what city businesses want. And they get them out while keeping potentially drunk or distracted drivers off the streets.

    The only downside I can see to the buses is that they take up some extra parking space, but it's much less space than would be taken up by all those people driving their cars into the city.

  • Jimcat has a good point. It is interesting that the ideologically capitalist United States is so very, very committed to public monopolies that don;t work very well.

    On the other hand, I guess one could argue that the tech busses enable people to live in SF that perhaps couldn't or shouldn't.

    But then that itself gets…complicated.

    Is there an "application form" that one fills out? +20 points if one is an "artist"?

  • Wetcasements: I actually emotionally agree with you. Although I am right this second using an application enabled by the recent tech bubbles, there is something so trivial and ephemeral about the modern web economy. It…and the gloating that floats in the air…seems unseemly.

    Yet, a crashing economy hurts almost everyone. How "progressive" is it to wish doom upon a large class of people, many of whom are enthusiastic and young and not "evil" by any means.

  • I have to side with the bros. One of the way park districts are funded are through rental fees. The reality is that without such fees that park may not even exist.
    I also can sympathize because I used to play lacrosse on a men's club, and would rent out fields, which would be occupied. The people we would kick off would usually be pissed, but what were we supposed to do? Tell the other team, which almost always travelled at least a couple of hours, that we couldn't play, even though we reserved the field, and paid to do so, because it wasn't fair that the local guys didn't have enough money to rent the field?
    We followed the rules, and the simple fact was that the money we paid helped maintain that field so that the locals could use it the other 80% of the time that it was not reserved.
    It works the same way in the Chicago area for the Forest preserves. You go through a process to rent out shelters, or fields for your private event. Without those rules it would be utter chaos. The revenue lost would be immense, and the actual amount of people that would use the preserves would diminish. (not to mention the amount of fights that would break out) After all, who would bother planning a big party, or event if they weren't sure they could get a particular site to send people to?

  • "Oh man, what happened to my probe?"

    "You put it in that laser over there."

    "The PARTY PROBE! Did I feel her up, dude?"

    "It was a LASER."

    "Aw, busted"

  • Jimcat, what's wrong with the private buses is that they're *not* enhancing public transportation. Plebes can't pay a fare and use the buses. Last I heard, the buses were even using the municipal bus stops without paying SF anything (because Google?? I don't know). Rebecca Solnit has a very engaging and articulate explanation of what the problem is. It's way bigger than people being sniffy about a few buses. Short form: the buses are turning SF into a bedroom community for BigTech, really expensive bedrooms nobody else can afford. That's changing SanFran itself. Which is hugely NotGood. The place is/was special and shouldn't be wasted.

  • The parks used to be paid for with tax money. The people in SF *with* money don't like paying taxes for things other people *without* money use.

    One of the reasons my husband and I live in Oakland. That, and we're raising children. SF isn't such a good place for that anymore, unless you're able to treat it as a hobby along the lines of collecting Faberge eggs or restoring Bugattis.

  • I'm really curious what these comments would look like if the kids had booked the field and the other group was refusing to get off. I know nothing of the situation in SF but watching this video as an outsider, it reminds me of kids being kids, always challenging authority and trying to get what they want. I would have acted similarly as a teenager, but that doesn't mean they were right. The adults had the field booked, they paid for it, they were completely in their right to try and get the kids to leave.

  • Giant Monster Gamera says:

    We have the tech buses in Seattle as well. The result is a bunch of techies living in the neighborhoods in Seattle and using the free buses for commuting over to the Eastside where they work.

    I make close to 90K, and was forced out of a neighborhood I lived in for 20 years because I could no longer afford it due to techies coming in and tearing everything down to build "luxury" apartments that rented for $2500 a month and live the hipster "urban" life.

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