Should fans be allowed to heckle without players reacting?

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Alex Henry

I believe fans should not be able to say anything they desire to at sporting events.
There must be a line that we as society need to draw so incidents such as Marcus Smart do not happen.
This past Saturday a 53-year-old man, Jeff Orr, was shoved by Oklahoma State starting point guard Marcus Smart during a basketball matchup against Texas Tech in the United Spirit Arena.
I find the incident embarrassing for everybody involved.
It makes Marcus Smart look like a lunatic that went after an older man.
Orr has been noted in the past for making insulting comments to other athletes.
Only this time, he went too far.
He released a press release stating he called Smart “a piece of crap” ,but many recount it as much worse involving expletives.
Smart was suspended three games by the NCAA for the incident, meanwhile Orr stated he would not attend any Texas Tech games home or away for the remainder of the season.
Some may argue that spectators pay hard earned cash to get tickets for sporting events, but I do not think that should grant you permission to making rude comments and gestures toward athletes.
I agree it is easy to say they are athletes and they should be able to handle and control themselves out there.
Well, yes but they are humans just as we are, even though we look up and idolize them as if they are superior.
They mess up just as you forget to turn off the lights when you leave your apartment.
It is part of human nature.
We must realize that in modern days,athletes are being criticized constantly and are under enormous pressure to perform at their best, and if they don’t, people call them trash.
That being said, not always can an athlete turn the other cheek and be the bigger person.
The core of the problem is that we expect this 19-year-old to always make the rational, mature, decision but not always at this age is every decision thought through.
Smart made a split-second reaction and lost his cool.
It is unacceptable behavior but the issue is that certain individuals find it OK to be cruel to college athletes who are trying their best to achieve and at the same time, win the fan’s approval.
The only way we can prevent these occasional incidents from occurring is acknowledging that athletes are humans.
Humans have emotions, and we should not treat them as if they are robots.
When attending sporting events, it is OK to try and get into the head of the opposing team’s players but in an appropriate way not making gestures or harsh insults.
It’s as if while at these events we take public mannerisms and toss them aside, turning us into animals.
It gives us a mob mentality where we act different than we would in our everyday lives.
We need to stop and think at the sporting events before we say things.
It is key to realize we should treat athletes with respect especially the college athletes as they are getting paid absolutely nothing yet are treated the same if not worse than the professional athletes.
If we treat athletes with respect these incidents will not occur going forward.

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Traesha Pritchard

As children growing up, we all are taught morals and respectful behaviors.
We are taught to obey elders and treat people how we want to be treated.
In society, we are taught freedom of speech and not to let words get to us.
However, we’re all not taught the repercussions to our wrongful actions.
This past weekend Oklahoma State All-American Marcus Smart was suspended for three games for pushing a Texas Tech fan in the final moments of a 65-61 loss in Lubbock.
The situation with Smart opened a lot of people’s eyes to that fact that sometimes fans get out of hand.
It also showed us that sometimes we just don’t know what to expect from college or professional athletes.
The floating question is should fans be able to say whatever they want without the players reacting?
I personally believe the answer to that question is yes.
However, as a fan you have to realize what comes with that privilege of being able to say anything you want to.
For example, the comment that was made to Smart is unclear, so we really can’t get angry for him taking a shove to the fan.
Do I believe he was wrong?
Yes, I do; however, the fan should have had that personal knowledge that there are reactions to actions.
On the spectrum of athletes, I think they should have the mental capability of being able to control their anger.
They should know that what ever a fan says should not effect them mentally or emotionally.
There should not be fault taken-off of an athlete for shoving a fan based on age either.
If you’re old enough to be in college and play, you are old enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong.
Let’s switch the scenario in the Smart and Texas Tech fan altercation.
What if possibly Smart fell into a huddle of Texas Tech fans who were considered the student section?
What if they all were taunting him and saying vulgar things, does that give him the right to go off and try to fight all of them?
No, not at all because the athletes should know mentally that’s a con that comes with them choosing to be an athlete.
Fans pay good money to go to any sort of athletic event rather it be football, basketball, or hockey.
When watching these games you’re bound to get emotional and say anything.
I know when I’m at home I scream out a ton of things when my favorite players may be performing bad or when the opposing team may be losing and it brings joy.
Those actions are just human nature.
At the end of the day, it comes down to common sense and what is morally wrong and right.
A fan has a right to say anything they want to say in this country.
That does not mean what they are saying is right, but I’m not the one to make judgment.

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