Open Thread: Athletes and the publicBy
This video might be old news to you, but just in case (some profane language, in case you don’t want the young’uns listening):
So a fan approaches Alex Rios and asks for his autograph. Rios, upset by his five-strikeout day, ignores the kid. Not kind, but it’s not like Rios is at the ballpark. He’s out with his wife/girlfriend after a charity event. If I’m Rios, I probably just want to get home and out of public.
That doesn’t excuse the way he acted. It would have made him a nice guy, for sure, to sign the kid’s autograph, but he’s not obligated. Then some other fan jumped on him for it, and Rios cracked. That’s where this episode went awry. Rios later apologized, saying that he “shouldn’t act like that, even if there’s sites like that or people following you, trying to make you say bad things.”
Clearly, Rios wasn’t right to act the way he did. But what about the fan who heckled him? Just like we can say that it’s understandable Rios got angry with the heckler but shouldn’t have acted the way he did, can’t we say that it’s understandable the heckler was frustrated with Rios’s performance and his treatment of the kid but also shouldn’t have acted that way?
It’s always been my view that public profile or not, these are fellow human beings and we should just leave them alone. I realize not everyone shares this. So where do you fall on the issues of athletes and the public?
In case you don’t care about this topic, it’s the open thread for the evening. Feel free to discuss this or the game — though we’ll have the recap later tonight.
Win something! As of right now, our Twitter feed is at 593 subscribers. For some reason, we want to get it to 600 before the end of the evening. So we’re going to give out a free copy of Jane Heller’s Confessions of a She-Fan, which Ben reviewed here, to number 600. In other words, the seventh person to follow us starting…now.