Amy Donaldson: We need to look in the mirror on fan behavior
We can say all the right things. But our children will hear what we're really saying because of who we are.
And sadly I fear that what we've become is a society that responds to adversity, bad behavior by someone else or disappointment in the worst ways. We should have learned in kindergarten that hitting someone back is as bad a decision as hitting another person in the first place.
We've been teaching our children for decades that if you pay money to sit in the stands, then you're entitled to pretty much say or do what you want.
Social media like Facebook, twitter and message boards that allow us access to athletes — and sadly their families — have made it easier to be rude in a more personal way. What a fan might have screamed at television is now blurted out on Twitter or message boards (often anonymously, of course).
Just last May Lakers guard Steve Blake's wife received death threats ("I hope your family gets murdered.") after he missed a game winning shot. And just so you don't think this was one crazy, obsessed fan, both Blake and his wife reported having to block hundreds of people on Twitter after being subjected to profanity-laced insults.
It's not just the behavior of fans that teaches our children that being a jerk at a sporting event is forgivable. We sit, often with our children at our sides, as high school, college and professional athletes exhibit the manners of a spoiled toddler and then we try to justify it, rationalize it and even defend it.
This is how we got here. We chose, one bad decision at a time, to teach our children that booing someone is okay. So why are we surprised that fans, frustrated with Cassel's ineffective play, cheered when he was hurt and had to leave the game. The line got blurry because we let it.
We are simply reaping what we've sown.
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