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CROWD SHAMING

THE CRC

Crowd shaming is becoming a more common practice recently in sports reporting. Sports reporters, personalities, retired athletes, and current stars decry behaviors of those in the crowd. 

The recent incident occurred during the NFL preseason game when Indianapolis fans booed after learning of the abrupt retirement of their QB Andrew Luck with little information around the report. 

The visual of Andrew Luck being booed during his final time on the field was a bad look. Would it have happened if the Colts did not have Super Bowl aspirations? Probably not. 

The raw emotions of Indianapolis Colts fans seeing the keystone piece of their championship aspirations leave the team probably felt significantly demoralizing. Especially after a few not so light alcoholic beverages. 

Not that long ago, Toronto Raptors fans temporarily cheered during a catastrophic injury to Kevin Durant, one of the NBA’s top stars, during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

No fan should want to see anyone hurt, but the kneejerk reaction was simply to consider how the situation improved the Raptors likelihood of capturing its first title. 

Not making excuses, but as a fan of Philadelphia teams, I understand how fanbases can get a bad reputation by the judgmental and not so accurate finger wagging of the national sports media. 

Crowds do not always behave as one expects or hopes for. The emotional environment, crowd size, and influence of adult beverages can influence how people behave. 

Consider fan incidents at other high-profile global sporting events. At the World Cup, Olympics, and other events, there are reported and unreported incidents between fan bases typically at the local watering hole. 

The relationship between crowd size and security potentially provides some people the false courage to behave in manners they normally would not because of the perception of not being able to get caught. 

The mob mentality where people believe the crowd size will shield themselves from discovery. The Kyle Lowry shove for instance. The minority owner probably did not expect to get caught. 

Society sees this phenomenon not only with sporting events, but political events as well, where large groups of people are emotionally riled up and can turn irrational at a moments notice. 

After the 2016 election, many people, especially those on the left, showed poor character emotionally reacting by destroying public property, physically assaulting perceived political opponents, and other despicable acts.

Combination of crowd size, emotional state, and beverages can impact crowd behaviors. No amount of finger wagging can alter that. But, when you have 24 hours of coverage required, anything becomes newsworthy.

Next time you are in a crowd. Do the right thing and not become the reason your city, family, or employer receives negative attention in local or national media coverage.