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Mace & Crown | February 19, 2018

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Over the line: Fans crossing the line at Sporting Events

Over the line: Fans crossing the line at Sporting Events

Fan etiquette is not a new subject.

Before sporting events, no matter whether amateur or professional, the public address announcer delivers some type of creed, asking for fans to behave themselves and keep in line.

With the rise of the social age and the development of countless social media outlets, fans and athletes are able to interact on a level like never before.

What was once left up merely to imagination is now reality.

Add that to the fact that fans can pay to sit up close and in person at these games to see said athletes.

It is no surprise that fans can get nasty.

See the Palace of Auburn Hill circa 2004, a brawl including multiple fans, and players from the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons.

A vulgar and violent exchange, just because they pay the big bucks.

In addition to that, Texas Tech’s super fan Jeff Orr, screamed “You’re a piece of crap,” amongst other debated slurs, discussed ad nauseam by news outlets towards Oklahoma State player Marcus Smart.

Smart, unable to keep his composure, acted out of frustration and shoved the middle aged Orr.

Heck, you do not have to go any further than Norfolk’s own Ted Constant Convocation center, during an ODU men’s basketball game. Monarch fans were exasperating officials and UTEP basketball players, because of what they felt were bad calls.

Obscene gestures and abrasive, uncut language filled the Ted as the police ejected multiple fans.

What gives these fans the right to talk to players any kind of way?

They pay big bucks, so it is justifiable.

Nope, guess again.

Grown men and woman should know how to detach themselves from classless behavior.

Hey now, I am a serial from-the-sideline coach, yelling, jumping and screaming.

My parents often remind me, “You are not getting paid, calm down.”

No harm in a little booing or getting upset at the opposing teams players, but being respectful goes a long way.

I am the loudest one in my section at plenty of games, but I am talking strategy and rooting for my team.

These fans are filthy and malicious, oh the things you hear from the rafters.

People take things excessively far.

Moreover, they feel they can hide behind the fact they are fans.

Enough is enough; there’s only so much one can take.

Violators, who continually exhibit volatile behavior, need to face the consequences.

I am not condoning Smart’s decision to shove a middle aged man, nor Stephen Jackson or Ron Artest throwing deadly punches at fans in 2004.

Nevertheless, one can justify the decisions.

However fighting does not solve anything, you both end up paying the price.

After all, they are just words and you have to know how to use restraint.

I think the ability to show poise and walk away is the best route, let the authorities and officials handle it.

Then again, I am as thin as a toothpick and do not look as threatening as an athlete in tip-top shape.

Compassion and humility go along way; freedom of speech is not free and it is about time these folk pay the price.

After all, it is just a game, right?

By Brian Saunders

Senior Writer