February 12, 2014 by The Waterboy Report
Fans drive sports athletes over the edge and are hardly blamed for a player’s demise.
Every time something horrible happens, in a player and fan altercation, the fan is usually never blamed and the player is always considered some wild offender. Yes, players are considered professional athletes and should always be positive role models; however, they too are human beings and sometimes are driven straight to breaking point. Trash talking is apart of sports and will never die down. If anything, trash talking is at its highest point nowadays. Thanks, Richard Sherman. Not just with players, but with fans as well. Fans are paying customers and pay to watch these high-class athletes perform at a high level so they deserve and have the right to say whatever gruesome remark they want, right? Wrong. How far have we come as a society where grown men are heckling and verbally abusing young athletes? Don’t get this mistaken there is absolutely NO excuse for an athlete to get physical or verbal with a fan under ANY circumstance because they are essentially the bigger person in that situation. However, fans should be held accountable too for their actions and how they act as civilians towards players. Most of the times fans are intoxicated out of their minds or are downright immature as they harass players who try to stay focused in the game. I mean imagine reading a book, but continuously hear a constant buzzing bee in the background as it slowly gets louder as you continue to read. Eventually, you’re going to snap and kill the bee. Most of the times athletes are pushed by fans tremendously and when this mixes in with the emotions of competitive competition, any sane person would eventually break down.
This past weekend Oklahoma State point guard, Marcus Smart, shoved a fan with full force with both of his hands in the Texas Tech hostile crowd. This coming after Texas Tech fan, Jeff Orr, supposedly yelled “you’re a piece of crap” at Marcus Smart. This altercation landed Smart in a heap of trouble and he has been suspended for three games. It has also attracted unwanted attention from the NCAA and all of social media. Smart was absolutely in the wrong to push this fan and he has already expressed his apologies specifically to Mr. Orr, but how come the spotlight is only on Smart and not on the fan or what we said? Fans can boo all they want, but as soon as it becomes personal with a player, that’s when it crosses the line. Smart is only 19-years-old and Orr is a middle-aged man, yet he’s the one initiating the slanderous remark. What? Smart seems like the immature punk in this situation because he clearly got physical with a fan but the real immature punk is this middle-aged man who’s belittling a teenager in an intense basketball moment, who could easily be young enough to be his son.
Here’s the video for those who haven’t seen it yet.
Is it necessary for fans to act way out of line? Shouldn’t there be more strict policies to ensure that disgruntled fans stay away from the action? Players are not robots; they lose their cool too sometimes. If fans don’t cross boundaries, neither will players for the most part. Now, there is no condoning players who get physical with the fans, sorry Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest). Yes, they should be penalized, yes, they should be suspended, but fans need to be restrained and take some of the blame for the altercation as well. Then fans wonder why some players are jerks. Well, consider it like this, if you drive a nun over the edge so many times, eventually she will become a prostitute. Fans can boo, cheer and have fun with the game but need to keep it in check. Every one in their life has lost control at some point in time but obviously, the media wasn’t there to capture the breakdown. Unfortunately, for athletes every wrong move they make will come back to haunt them.
Overall, most fans are ruthless, hostile and even threatening so maybe it’s time to start questioning the morals of the one’s watching the game more so than the one’s playing the game.
Last thing we need is a repeat of this.
-Luca Rosano @TheSportsRose