The Hypocritical Athlete….Where Do Fans truly stand?
I just want to start by saying; I believe professional athletes are a gift to people. I respect what they do. I respect the effort and hard work they put into their craft. I also respect the sacrifice their families make in order to achieve a life long dream viable. With that being said, the recent quotes and article I keep reading, where athletes tell people, “Fans don’t have the right to critique me or judge me.” Or “I don’t care about their opinion,” are beyond out of line and some things need to be addressed.
First off, how come athletes always claim fans aren’t allowed to critique or judge them? We essentially PAY your salary my friend. The money doesn’t come out of thin air. As a professional player, you represent a team, which essentially is brand name. If I am a consumer of the brand, to the point where I’m giving thousands of dollars a year, do I not have a say in whether the quality of that brand is worth the dollar I’m paying? I agree, fans believing they could do your job better than you, is ridiculous and completely out of line but fans DO indeed have the right to critique. When fans cheer players beyond the point of reason, do you hear any players say, “Don’t cheer for me too loud, it’s just football,” Only when the team is not playing well or that particular player isn’t playing well does the player tell the fan he is out of line. When a director puts out a movie, does he yell and belittle viewers because people don’t like it? Does an author tell the media, the reader’s opinion doesn’t count if they don’t like my book? No, they don’t.
Athletes are the most sensitive people on this planet. I mean they banter over $1M here and there. They complain when people say they are playing bad, they complain when fans call out a particular players effort ON the field. Then have the audacity to tell fans; we don’t know what we are talking about. I can see when someone isn’t trying. I can see when players take bad angles, ill-advised shots, stall the offense; get beat over and over by a guy. Fans CAN see that and fans have a right to voice their opinion if they feel that is not up to their standard.
I will say, these fans that verbally attack players families and children are classless asses that don’t represent the true aura of fandom. Real fans know that an hour or 2 after the game ends, we are still regular people and it shouldn’t go beyond that. I’ll talk about my own personal experience during Redskins games. Can’t stand DeAngelo Hall. I think as a player he’s overrated and misses so many tackles and gives up so many big plays its ridiculous. Do I think the Redskins should cut him? Definitely! Would I ever disrespect his kids or family because of HIS poor play? Never! And usually an hour after the game he is no longer a concern of mine.
With that being said, I just feel athletes should accept the praise with the critique. I understand everyone is in his or her ear about how bad their team is but as Americans, we call a spade, a spade. If we are unsatisfied with something we voice it and voice it loudly. Get use to it or stop being a professional athlete.