Growing up more than 5000 miles away where my national sport is as foreign to an American as a moguls car collection, one thing remains the same – no matter what the sport, fans are still slotted into either three categories; loyal, passionate or, for a better term, insane.
There is however one category that seems to be rearing its head more and more these days. Sadly, it’s the racist and/or homophobic type.
We are now well and truly settled into the NBA Finals, a time where hate is rampant online, in bars and has now escalated to new heights at games.
To the vulgar San Antonio fans who sat to the left of me yelling out Dwyane Wade sucks LeBron James’s, shall we say “block”, the horrified mother with her two young children sitting in front, not only had to endure this at the expense of around $900 for her tickets, but also at the cost of her young families innocence.
Roy Hibbert didn’t do the game any favors with his “No Homo” reference at a post game press conference, and any NBA fan is all to familiar with the gay slurs and viral YouTube clips aimed at Miami’s Chris Bosh.
So where did it all go wrong? Do we blame the gift of free speech or the pre-game alcohol consumption?
I’m not going to lie, the now famous photograph of the blonde Miami socialite, Phyllis Tobias flipping Joakim Noah the bird was brilliance captured in pixels, but then again I don’t root for Chicago.
On that note however, when did it become acceptable for the C Word to be screamed at Tony Parker from behind the bench? Now I’m definitely no angel, those who know me well enough have experienced my somewhat “fondness” of the baneful term.
Oh and I can’t leave out that heart warming moment from another fan last week who said “she must love black d!ck” referring to me cheering ecstatically after Mario Chalmers hit a sweet bucket.
Most of the NBA roster is African American, am I just meant to stick to rooting for Chris Anderson and Mike Miller? Honestly. It’s like the streets out there now. This ain’t sport, this is war and you standing there in the oppositions jersey? Baller beware – you’re gonna cop it.
To the ignorant, I’m a Heat fan. I didn’t fly all this way from Australia to post Miami Bieber bandwagon photos on my Instagram so don’t attempt to take me on either. You will lose.
Fan numbers are up and the product itself? Spectacular. Indeed the tables have turned, just not for the better if you want to enjoy a live game without racial or homophobic slurs.
Ahhh, remember them good old days of friendly banter between the opposing fans?
No, neither do I.