Written by Tim Hofstaetter
As a sportswriter I think it is safe for me to say I enjoy sports. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t become frustrated while watching sports. Especially if watching my favorite team play poorly. When these things happen, I can get my frustration and angst out in an acceptable and not hurtful way, however this is not true for all sports fans. Most sports fans are like me. Yet, there is a group of sports fans that take their frustrations out in an unhealthy way. I am going to talk about a lot of basketball fans because that is what I know the best.
This past Sunday the Los Angeles Lakers played the Sacramento Kings and all-star guard De’Aaron Fox had a great game scoring 37 points and tallying 8 assists. De’Aaron had a great game by anyone’s standards. Due to the chagrin of Lakers fans, his led to one fan creating a fake report where he said De’Aaron was found dead with his wife and after a car crash. Thankfully this report was debunked and taken down, but this behavior and action is not should be acceptable for our society. That tweet (or X) is an unbelievably sickening thing to post. Wishing death on someone’s family because they played well in a game and beat your favorite team is inexcusable.
Death threats to basketball players is sadly not as uncommon as one might think. Back when Russell Westbrook played for the Lakers, he had a very poor season for his standards, and he also received death threats. This led to him increasing security for his family out of fear for his life. Why is someone being threatened for playing a game? This doesn’t just happen with Laker fans. In the 2020’s, when LeBron James made his first return to Cleveland, after leaving to join the Miami Heat, he was also met with threats. During this return game, there had to be increased security and this helped to a certain degree. It still did not keep fans from throwing things onto the court during the game.
There are many more examples of these actions taking place in the world of sports, but that would take the entire Brackety-Ack to discuss. I wanted to give these few examples just so I can pose the question – why are sports fans so upset? Again, I love sports but at the end of the day they are just games and should not turn people into monsters when discussing sports. Sports are supposed to be a way to help us escape the reality of our burdensome world, enjoy life, and be competitive, but there are too many fans taking fandom way too far.