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Fans Threatening Players

We are all fans of the games we watch. Whether you played before or not, there is a lot of passion that comes with your favorite teams and players. Fantasy sports has amplified that love and dependence of players to perform for their Fantasy Team, as well as the real team. Since we are in the age of social media, everyone has a voice, and everyone pretty much has access to the players like never before.

This access can be a detriment for players because they will receive messages if they had a bad game and messages if they had a good game. They can choose whether or not to respond to their fans or critics, but sometimes responding can get them in trouble with their team or league they belong to, so they turn the other cheek.

But how easy is that really? If you receive all these messages on social media talking about you or your family or your character, how would you react?? It is not an easy task to keep ignoring the messages, no matter what an athlete says. Coming from a former Division 1 athlete, I know for a fact that it’s hard to ignore all the clutter in the social world about yourself.

Here’s the thing though. These players may be high-profile athletes, but at the end of the day, they are just human like the rest of the world. They make mistakes, they receive job training and have to use problem solving skills, they grew up on some of the same streets you grew up on, they use the bathroom like you, they have emotions, and have a family that they care about. So think about that as you decided to send out menacing tweets or messages to that player. Yes they may have made a mistake to cost you something for the game you are watching, but a the end of the day IT IS JUST A GAME! You love them every other day when they are doing something good.

I have seen from experience, one of my teammates get bashed for messing up the game and costing us a win. He said it was hard for him to even walk on campus without people being irate with him, wanting to fight, or giving him the evil eye. And this was before Twitter exploded, so I can only imagine how much worse it could have been for him.

My teammate experienced fan threats from this incident against the Badgers in 2005. Very Similar to Michigan vs Michigan State. He did not deserve all the backlash he got. FILE PHOTOS BY MARLIN LEVISON • STAR TRIBUNE

There is no need to threaten a player’s life for making a mistake in a game. Yes we all saw that play with the Michigan punter dropping the ball against Michigan State and costing them the game. As bad as you felt as a fan, think about how bad the athlete felt. Imagine how you would feel if people came for you like that after you made a mistake at work or at school. You would feel horrible. The passion is understandable, but there needs to be a line drawn for the way you express your passion to the players.

People are way to entitled on social media, which is a problem. Granted the players are high-profile and should expect to be contacted by fans and media, but that still is no excuse to make people feel empowered to threaten athletes lives for making silly mistakes. IT IS NOT THAT SERIOUS!!

Anyway, take a look at the video below for the thoughts from my co-hosts…

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