In today’s society, everyone has a Facebook or a Twitter account, so it’s no surprise to see professional athletes on news feeds or timelines daily. Whether it’s promoting a charity, or just giving fans a look into their everyday lives, they post away. Most of the time it’s friendly. Other times it’s not. But there’s no debating the fact that social media has changed how we view not just athletes but celebrities as a whole.
Never before have professional athletes been so accessible or had such a forum for the fans. Which for the most part is a good thing, but as with anything revolutionary, there will always be drawbacks. In this case, you know the annoying guy at the bar who is telling everyone who will listen that the pitcher sucks because he’s having an off game? Well now that guy gets to tell the pitcher himself. Now think of the jerk sitting in the seat behind you at the football game telling opposing fans that he hopes their QB gets hurt. Well now, he and all of his buddies can tweet the player himself with no repercussion. Obviously these are just a few examples, but we all know how irrational some sports fans can be. Look no further than the Bruins’ fans tweeting racial slurs to Capitals forward Joel Ward after his series clinching goal in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Here’s a link to the Deadspin.com article with many of the tweets. TSB does not support this type of stuff, but the article pertains to this story.)
No matter how tough a loss is or how bad a play was there is no need to go on a Twitter rampage. Remember what your mother and Kindergarten teacher always told you, “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. It’s common courtesy. If a pitcher loses a game that he already feels pretty bad about, there is no need to twist the proverbial knife that much deeper. Other than legitimately being a jerk, what are they accomplishing? I ask, “Now that you’ve told off an athlete, do you somehow feel better about yourself?” Probably not, but if you do, then congratulations! You are what’s wrong with the sports world. You are no better than the fans who cheer when a player gets hurt and to be honest you are the person no one wants to go to games with.
Please people, no matter what your favorite team is or what your town allegiances are, show some class. Boo all you want on the field, but when it gets personal, it goes too far; no player or fan for that matter deserves to be personally attacked. Learn from the Brian Stowe incident, a sport is about the game. They play the game for entertainment. When’s the last time you heard of someone getting beat down at an opera? Whether the bullying is cyber, verbal or physical, as a society we need it to stop.
If you are unable to at least make the effort to be a better fan, then do the rest of us a favor. Stay home! I’d rather sit next to a rival fan any day, than sit next to someone who is going to be disrespectful and ignorant. Like I said, keep what happens on the field just that. On the field. If a pitcher blows a save, or a kicker misses a field goal show some class, that guy is someone’s son and just like the rest of us, is only human.
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