It’s early June which means the NBA playoffs are in full swing. Please note: this post has zero to do with professional basketball. Allow us, however, to first provide some necessary context…
In game two of the opening series between Philadelphia and Washington, a Philly fan dumped popcorn on Washington player Russell Westbrook’s head.
In the series between Atlanta and New York, a New York Knicks fan spat at Atlanta star, Trae Young.
Following game four of the Boston-Brooklyn series, a Boston Celtic fan threw a water bottle at Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving.
In game two between Memphis and Utah, Memphis star youngster, Ja Morant, was the target of racist and sexist insults from three opposing fans.
There have been additional recent incidents, but each of the above have a primary thing in common.
A person does not know how to express their emotion appropriately.
Friends, don’t let me suggest that the Intramuralist knows the right way to handle every emotion — for me or anyone else. But it doesn’t take anywhere close to a rocket scientist to discern that dumping popcorn, spitting, throwing bottles, or hurling insults is completely inappropriate. These are improper and in many cases, illegal.
Let me suggest, too, no less, that it also doesn’t take anywhere close to a rocket scientist to discern that the aggressiveness of these professional basketball fans are isolated acts. Look at the words in recent years by a group of bipartisan leaders of the land.
“Please, get up in the face of some congress people!”
“Let’s have trial by combat.”
“‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”
“You get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
“Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”
“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
The above — not in any order — are recent words from the left and right, politicians and media personalities from prominent figures such as Cory Booker, Chris Cuomo, Rudy Giuliani, Eric Holder, Donald Trump, Maxine Waters, etc.…
These are leading, loud voices. They think they’re speaking for us.
Of course, each justified their aggressive speech with something along the following lines:
It was hyperbole… no reasonable person would take that literally… I deny any provoking of violence… I was making a joke… everyone in the audience understood…
And yet they didn’t.
The audience didn’t necessarily understand.
Some, dare we suggest, attended a recent NBA game.
Can we please stop the disrespectful, inappropriate speech?
On both the left and the right?
Can we also admit it’s happening on both sides?
And thus, can we quit making excuses for singular sides?
Otherwise we may soon be talking about more than professional basketball.