WARNING KIDDOS, THIS POST HAS LOTS OF NSFW LANGUAGE
The NBA announced on Tuesday that Reggie Jackson has been fined $25,000 for yelling “suck my dick bitch ass nigga” at a heckler during his not-so-fun homecoming game in Oklahoma last Friday. When asked about the incident by David Mayo of MLive.com, Jackson shared his frustration with “protected” fans.
“Fans say some off-the-wall stuff,” Jackson said. “It’s crazy. It’s crazy how we’re treated. They get to talk to you however they want. It’s reckless. I wish somebody would say something like they talk to us on the court off the court. It’s out of control. You wouldn’t talk to anybody like that off the court. They feel protected in the stands. Some fans need to be tossed.”
They do. They also need to be taught a lesson but unfortunately that lesson will often hurt the pockets and/or reputations of a player who loses his cool – like Jahlil Okafor last week.
But the frustration of players isn’t just with fans. Just in the last two days we have seen Kevin Durant go off on “the media” for treating Kobe “like shit” and Draymond Green and Steph Curry accusing a Utah Jazz blogger of making up and spreading lies about them. Although all of the above events are non-related and with the exception of Jahlil’s punching bag, non-harmful, it just feels like a precursor to something bigger. What? I don’t know.
What I do know is the NBA can’t stop fans – drunk and sober – from acting like assholes, crossing the line of decency and saying whatever they want to players as if they were freaks in a sideshow. I know social networks can’t stop cyber bullies from typing messages to players that would lead to hospital and funeral visits in the real world. And I know the media – who are very important to the league and players – are not going to stop asking annoying questions and then sharing their thoughts in papers, blogs, podcasts, radio and TV.
So hopefully, all of this drama just stays a drama of words and not action. The last thing I want to see is another Malice in the Palace all because that line between players and non-players was crossed.