Players vs. Fans

Posted by By at 8 August, at 07 : 15 AM Print

Players vs. Fans

Michael Beasley and Matt Barnes’ separate incidents with fans this week brings up the matter of ‘how much is too much fan involvement’? Yes, when watching games on TV or attending we love rabid fans. Stations that broadcast the NBA and NCAA use fanatical fans in camera shots to give the viewer a “feel” for the atmosphere of the arena but, at the end of the day when the game is over, can those fans turn off the rabid behavior and be regular human beings? In Barnes’ case, a fan at a pro-amateur game went too far and taunted Barnes as he was covering him to the point where Barnes punched him in the face. The fan, unfortunately, had no referee to charge Barnes with a flagrant 2 foul sending him to the line–Oh wait, this was a pro-amateur game after all. Barnes plays with a tremendous competitive fire and has mixed it up with Kobe Bryant, so that fan shouldn’t be surprised that he ended up flat on his butt when he pushed him too far.

Beasley shoved a fan during an exhibition game at New York’s Dyckman Park. The fan, was reportedly arguing a call against Kevin Durant’s Team Nike who was playing Beasley’s Team 914 when he said that Beasley engaged him. The Wall Street Journal and New York Post report that the fan was cursing at Beasley and heckling him the whole game. Now, Dyckman is not a basketball gym where fans have the safety of the bleachers to scream from at players’ passing by during a game. The fans are very close to the players’, if not right on top of the players’ on the court. These players are regular human beings when the game is over. The title of “professional basketball player” doesn’t list, ‘must become living saint’ in the job duties. Beasley with his many off-court problems didn’t deserve to be pushed to the edge of his patience by the fan and conducted himself very well afterwards attempting to seek the fan out and apologize for his action.

Fans also should understand that if they choose to heckle players in whatever instance, to be ready for the consequences. Similar to confronting a normal person on the street, the same would apply to confronting a professional sports athlete.

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