Fans, for the most part, are who they are: fanatics about their sporting teams, entertainers, and whatever they are in support of.
Monday night was no different. After a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox, Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones mentioned that he heard racial epithets and one fan hurled a bag of peanuts towards him.
The easy narrative, and the usual one, is to throw a blanket on the city of Boston, given the ugly past the city has dealt with in regards to racial issues.
It’s very easy for fans outside of cities like Boston and Philadelphia to wag a scornful finger at the behavior of those fans.
The problem is…there are fans in every city that are boorish, misogynistic, racist, and rotten. To point a finger at one group and talk about how bad they are shouldn’t dismiss the fact that your fan base, or yourself, is guilty of doing the same.
That last sentence was hammered home by ESPN’s Bomani Jones during his drive-time national radio show today. This isn’t a “Boston” problem. This is an “American” problem: fans who feel they can say and do whatever at games, simply because they paid to watch it.
What a stupid concept. Illogical, ignorant, and baseless.
And, don’t give me the “I pay their (players’) salaries, I can do what I want.”
You don’t pay their salaries. The owner pay their salaries. You (fans) pay for the ticket handlers at the gate, the hot dog vendor, and the maintenance crew who picks up behind us after games. When fans misbehaves, we are embarrassing those individuals, not just players and the teams.
No popcorn vendor wants to lose business or (their jobs) behind a fan acting like a drunken sloth who has no filter.
This may sound hollow and clichéd, but it bears repeating: fans, stop being assholes. If you want to boo, just boo. If your team stinks out loud, no one’s making you stay and watch it. Next time, someone will pull out their iPhones and the world will see just how bad you are.
For the love of decency, act like humans, not cavemen at events.