It’s Not Personal, Just Sports

This past weekend we saw another ugly incident in the world of
sports.  Marcus Smart and Jeff Orr crossed paths for the first, and most
likely the last, time.  Unfortunately their encounter caused a national
stir and once again started the debate of the behavior at sporting events.
Marcus Smart a basketball player on the
Oklahoma State University basketball team went into the stands during a play.
 He eventually landed at the feet or lap of Jeff Orr, Texas Tech
University booster and fan.  The next thing you see is Orr say something
then Smart pushing him before being separated by teammates and officials.
 The incident had the potential to escalate to something far more serious
and I commend the OSU players for getting Smart out of there.
So what was said that made Smart push Orr?
 It doesn’t really matter.  Who is at fault in this incident?
Everyone involved.  Smart as a competitor, and potential NBA player,
should know better that the emotions of the game stay between the lines. NBA player
Meta World Peace (a.k.a. Ron Artest), who had the ugliest athlete/fan incident
in sports history said that Smart can learn from this “…those
types of challenges on the court when you’re playing and fans are rooting
against you — that was a great lesson learned, so that hopefully when he does
become a pro, he’ll be able to kind of withstand the fans that are rooting
against him on the road.”
What about Orr? The argument can be made
that he is a paying fan and he can say whatever he wants.  Technically, I
guess that is true, but just because you pay to do something or go somewhere
doesn’t give you the right to act like a jerk.  Just look at all the
season tickets the New England Patriots confiscate for behavior related reasons
each year.  But Orr called a kid a “piece of crap”, really?
 If he felt compelled to say that about a college kid, far be it from me
to judge.  But what a nerd.
This is the problem with sports fans.
 We, as a society, have put so much focus on supporting our teams that
nobody can enjoy the game.  I wrote about this a few months back when a
fan was stabbed to death outside of a sporting venue.  This pales in
comparison, but it’s in the same category.  If I had been in Orr’s seats
and Smart came running at me I would have commended him on good effort.
 That’s just me I guess.  I just don’t get to the point where I need
to mock players on the other team or their fans.  My take on it is, don’t
say something to someone at a stadium that you don’t have the guts to say to
them in a room by yourself.
There was speculation that Orr used a
racial slur.  I am not going to comment on that because it is unfounded
and I don’t think Smart would have apologized (as he did publicly) to Orr for
shoving him if he had.  Smart received a 3 games suspension for his role in incident,
which I feel is appropriate.  I do want to point out that OSU, Smart, Coach
Travis Ford and Orr have all conducted themselves very well in the aftermath.
 As I stated before, this had ugly potential all over it.
To all fans going to games.  Cheer,
maybe a little distractible heckling, but NEVER make it personal.  You
don’t know them and they don’t know you

If you don’t take it from me, ask my wife.

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