To the Chiefs fans who popped open the trunk, hauled out a wheelchair, loaded it with beverages and went whistling on their way in Arrowheads parking lot:
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
Yes, you the tailgaters with the blue handicapped parking sign hanging from the rearview mirror. Your stunt was captured on video.
And from the looks of it, no one in your entourage required that wheelchair, or the handicapped placard that gave you access to a space near the stadiums entrance.
Chris Sampson shot the video during the Chiefs home opener. Hes a Raytown man who has grown increasingly frustrated by the disregard for disabled people at Arrowhead.
Theyre borrowing grandmas placard for prime parking, he said. No shame, no shame whatsoever.
His disgust appeared justified Sunday before the loss to the Chargers, although its difficult to judge for sure by eyeballing, as a lot of disabilities arent obvious. But hardly a wheelchair, cane or walker was in sight, just lots of people scurrying from cooler to grill.
The most common impairment seemed to be a shortage of brain cells brought on by early morning alcohol consumption.
Lucky to be so cavalier.
The term quadriplegic can be misunderstood. Sampson has some arm movement.
He was 19, driving a sports car along a stretch of Holmes Road in south Kansas City. The tire blew as he hit an S-curve.
The car went airborne, 10 feet up and slammed into a tree. No seatbelt. His head rammed into the cars roof.
Sampson got out, stood and collapsed. The movement shoved fractured bone into his spinal column.
I can honestly say Ive been a loyal Chiefs fan my entire life, the 39-year-old said. His father used to take him to games as a child.
Its probably not feasible for the Chiefs organization to completely marshal the problem away even though lots of handicapped slots and parking staff are readily available.
Sure, they could order an official to check every car, forcing people to produce the paperwork for the handicapped hangtag.
Yes, there is such a permit, people.
Short of that, there probably isnt much they, or police, can do. The prevailing attitude seems to be: Everyone else is doing it, why not?
Sampsons watched people driving specially equipped vans like his, roaming the lot, trying scope out a space when so many are already claimed.
So go ahead, Chiefs fans; take the handicapped slot. Just be grateful you dont need it.
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