'I'm a father who wants to be a role model': German defender enters crowd to brawl with fans after wife & daughter verbally abused
Leistner was giving a post-match interview after his team were thrashed by Dynamo in the DFB Pokal, who play in the 3. Liga, one league below the 2. Bundesliga side, when he was taunted by the crowd at Glücksgas Stadium.
Rather than turn the other cheek, Leinster vaulted a concrete wall from the interview space and entered the crowd, angrily charging up the stairs toward one man in a maroon t-shirt in the stands.
What the f*ckkkkk 😳Hamburg defender Toni Leistner casually jumping into the stands to scrap an opposition fan.Head's gone 🤯🤯🤯 https://t.co/sGnbEjVFzs— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) September 14, 2020
In footage of the incident, a livid Leistner can be seen grabbing the supporter by the scruff of the neck and the pair stumble to the ground, after which more Dresden supporters became involved.
Another man can be seen violently pushing Leistner away, while others attempted to calm the Hamburg number 37 down and escort him away from further trouble.
Online reaction has understandably been one of shock at Leistner taking the law quite literally into his own hands, but some have also found sympathy for the player, with some speculating he was the victim of vile comments about his pregnant wife.
The fan said that he hopes Leistners wife loses her baby she’s currently pregnant with. Leistner also used to play for that team and is from the City too.— Bill O’Brien 🪐 (@billy_obr) September 14, 2020
At least they let the players fight the supporters when they enter the stands in Germany— Dems Dakota LUFC 💙💛 (@DemsDakota) September 14, 2020
Former QPR player Leistner was born in Dresden, then East Germany, and came up through the ranks at SC Borea Dresden before making the switch to Dynamo, where he spent four years from 2010 to 2014.
The 30-year-old later blamed his outburst on taunts that targeted his wife and daughter, but later apologized for the incident and promised it “will never happen again”.
"After the match in my hometown, I was verbally abused from the stands. I can usually cope with it. But this was extremely and massively below the belt, against my family, my wife and my daughter," he wrote on Instagram.
"That's when I lost it, even more so because it was already an extremely emotional match for me. Regardless, this should have never happened to me. I am a father who wants to serve as a role model. I apologise in all forms and can only promise that -- no matter what insults are thrown my way -- this will never happen again."
Hamburg have yet to comment on Leistner's behaviour, which is reminiscent of an incident in which Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier entered the crowd to confront a supporter for allegedly making derogatory comments about his brother.