May 25, 2011

From One Fan to Another

Note: this is not a post about homosexuality or gay rights or same-sex marriage. It's about respect for each other as human beings.

If you've watched ESPN or just about any news this week, you've heard that Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls used a homophobic slur towards a fan attending Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Here's ESPN's synopsis of the event.
First, I don't agree with what Joakim said. It was hurtful and wrong,
and being in the heat of the moment does not excuse it.
Second, there is no room for this type of language, in or out of the world of sports.

I applaud the NBA for taking this issue head-on, such as helping with this commercial encouraging creative trashtalk and discouraging the old, stupid homophobic trashtalk.
Now maybe the NBA can come out with a commercial to let fans know intelligent commentary and trashtalk is also expected from the stands...

I fully agree with Joakim's teammate, Luol Deng, who condemned what was said and added that the fan should have been thrown out.
"[Noah's] got to do a better job of controlling his emotions," Deng said. "But at the same time, us as players, everyone is always watching us. And Jo kind of lost his temper, he shouldn't have, but that fan should have been out of the game. He should have been thrown out way before. He just kept going at him and we're in an emotional game like that, and things aren't going Jo's way, it's just human nature to just react. I know Jo and I know he didn't mean what he said at all."[Full article]

Buying a ticket doesn't mean you can say anything you want.
You pay for the opportunity to see remarkable feats of athleticism and potentially history-making performances, not the right to belittle and jeer the players.

I do have to give props to Joakim for not repeating what was said by the fan, for whatever reason, because it was also probably something quite offensive.

It's time that other fans start standing up for respectful behavior and alert security to these types of fans. Imagine you were at the game with your child. Would you want some guy in the row ahead of you cussing and using derogatory terms? I sincerely hope not.
Let's stand up for respecting other human beings, and hopefully these stories can both stop distracting us from the amazing games being played and become a thing of the past.

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