Social media brings out the worst in sports fans

Social media brings out the worst in sports fans

My one personal pleasure, my escape from the world in recent weeks, has been watching the NHL playoffs.

As I have watched the NHL playoffs I have used twitter a bit during hockey games to see fan reactions during hockey games.  I have also commented on sports topics on various websites that allow comments on articles.

Many of the comments made on social media and various sports blogs about specific athletes, are absolutely brutal.  It is sad for fans of any sport, of any team, to wish players get hurt, or simpy die!

As if it is not bad enough that juvenile fans make smart remarks about players and their cities, it is sad when professional media people make things so personal, as I remarked in a previous post on how Boston broadcaster Jack Edwards compared Matt Cooke to assassin Sirhan Sirhan.

In an article on a Pittsburgh media website remarks were made about Pittsburgh fans not giving credit to the opponent for game plans and execution. The jab is followed by the remarks, "educated fan bases do that." Posting to the article is done through a Facebook account.  Following the link to the person who posted the remarks, he appears to be a reporter for a Boston based publication.  His facebook page includes a few personal digs on Penguin players that sure makes his remarks about "educated fan bases" seem a bit hypocritical.

Yes, I am a Pittsburgh sports fan.  I don't deny that, nor will I try to hide that in this website. I try to be very careful to give credit where credit is due.  I am also careful to comment about the teams as it pertains to the play on the field, and not make personal attacks on teams and cities.

Why should anyone from Pittsburgh hate Boston, or vice versa?

Put it all into perspective.

There's nothing wrong with being a "homer," someone who roots passionately about their team. But is it in the spirit of good sportsmanship to disparage the players and fans of the opposition?

Calling a player a bum, an underachiever, overpaid, and stating your case why, is fair game for fans. Likewise, the media has the right to criticize players and coaches performance in the context of the play on the field. Like a star in any profession, having your performance criticized in the media is part of the game. It comes with the territory of being a star.

Where comments often cross the line is when remarks are directed generically against sports teams and their towns.  Rude remarks can really get out of hand. What purpose do any remarks that make one city dislike another serve?

Everyone needs a little relief from the ugliness of our society. I use sports as my escape from the world, something to take my mind off of a world full of hate and terror.

You can still have your heroes, and be passionate about your favorite teams, just keep it all into perspective.

It's only sports.