It always takes one for the spotlight to be shown on everybody.
It’s like fans haven’t realized players are human too. Remember the Malice at the Palace??
Apparently for Miami Heat season ticket holder Filomena Tobias, the foolish actions that led to the largest financial suspensions in NBA history didn’t cross her colorfully-attired mind last Wednesday when she gave Chicago’s Joakim Noah the “we’re number one” salute after he was ejected from Game 2 of the hotly-contested series.
If you haven’t seen photos of Ms. Tobias flashing her middle finger in the direction of Noah, just look at the USA TODAY photo that accompanies this article, and you will see her display of classlessness…or better yet, acting like an…well, you know the rest.
You see, behavior at sports events has gotten out of hand for some time and every time something like this, or like the horrifying fights we’ve seen at some NFL and MLB stadiums occur, I pray that the escalation of despicable fan behavior doesn’t reach the levels we’ve seen at some European soccer stadiums.
Or has it?
Sadly in my previous role as a sports executive, I’ve seen and heard some of the most vile comments from time to time sitting courtside or standing on the field of play, and while I certainly understand a fan’s passion to cheer on their respective teams and boo or shout at the opposition, one’s right to spend their hard-earned money doesn’t give anyone – no matter how much was shelled out – the right to act like a lunatic at a game.
Yes, the players make a lot of money.
Yes, they should display 100% effort.
And occasionally, we all believe we can do better than the local star or role player, but the fact remains that we aren’t out there jumping with the Hawks at Philips Arena, tackling defenders with the Falcons at the Georgia Dome or swinging at 95-mph fastballs with the Braves at Turner Field, so please learn how to SHUT UP with the extra-curricular language and signs the next time you’re in attendance.
Because if you don’t or won’t, the next player might not be as respectful as Noah was last week. Personally, I wish he would have flinched at Ms. Tobias to scare the (expletive-deleted) out of her. Maybe then she would have realized the error of her ways (before her actions brought her 15 unwanted minutes of fame, check google, you’ll see what I mean).
That’s it, that’s all…because I’ll choose to behave…this time.