I'm currently telling myself to not continue writing and to let this go.
Please, dear baby Jesus, just let it go..
But I can't.
If you don't watch sports at all or if you don't follow college basketball even a little bit, then you might not know what the heck I'm about to talk about.
In quick summary, Texas Tech and Oklahoma St. college basketball teams played each other over the weekend and near the end of the game a Texas Tech fan, Jeff Orr, said something to an Oklahoma St. player, Marcus Smart, and the Oklahoma St. player shoved the Texas Tech fan.
Now, here's where I need to just keep my mouth shut.
I have an opinion on this situation.
Marcus Smart is claiming that Jeff Orr called him THE "N" word.
Jeff Orr is claiming he called Marcus Smart "a piece of crap".
Okay, first of all.. Unfortunately college athletes (and professional athletes for that matter) hear insults like "piece of crap" every single day and that multiples by approximately a thousand during an actual game. Hell, his teammates have probably called him worse things than "a piece of crap". I do not, in any way, AT ALL believe that Jeff Orr simply called Marcus Smart "a piece of crap". I will not beat around the bush about this. I think Jeff Orr is lying out his ass. Honestly, Marcus Smart has no real reason to lie about this and Jeff Orr has every reason to lie. So there's that. Also, it wasn't as if Marcus Smart reacted, then went to the locker room, and THEN said that Jeff Orr used the "N" word. No, Marcus Smart told the referee on the court, seconds after, that Jeff Orr was being racist. He didn't have time to make that up.
Marcus Smart was given a technical foul and then suspended for 3 games.
Jeff Orr voluntarily said he would not attend anymore Texas Tech games this year.
I don't necessarily have a problem with Marcus Smart's "punishment". I'll get into this more a little later, but regardless of anything else, Marcus Smart reacted poorly and the "punishment" pretty accurately fits the "crime". I have a problem with Jeff Orr's "punishment". First, he shouldn't have had the opportunity to voluntarily not attend any further games this season. That should have been a given and should have been put in place by Texas Tech. Period. Second, it's mid-February and the college basketball season is nearing it's end. Also, I just checked.. there are 3 more home Texas Tech games this year. So essentially Jeff Orr is voluntarily not coming to 3 more games. Next year the problem will still be there.
Texas Tech defended and backed Jeff Orr more than Oklahoma St. defended and backed Marcus Smart.
I'm being naive, I know this. It just frustrates me that a college will defend a fan more than another college will defend a student and athlete. It's frustrating and I think it's a flaw in the system. Unfortunately, I can't say that this surprises me all that much.
Several media outlets are dismissing Jeff Orr's behavior by claiming he's just a "super fan".
I work in college athletics and I have for 6 years now. I know all about "super fans". I know plenty, many, tons of super fans that do not act like assholes. Regardless of what degree of a fan you are, there has to be some amount of respect on your part and the same amount of respect on the athletes part. This is not always the case and THAT is a problem in sports in general. It is unfortunate.
Marcus Smart is 19.
Jeff Orr is 40+.
THIS IS A PROBLEM. HOW can we expect a 19 year old to react with poise and restraint when we don't expect a middle aged man to do the same? HOW?!
I don't want this to sound like I'm excusing Marcus Smart's behavior because I'm not. There's never a situation where shoving a fan is the correct answer. However, I am saying that I understand Marcus Smart's reaction. And I'm really, really saying that I think in college athletics and in sports, in general, the biggest problem isn't the Marcus Smarts, it's the Jeff Orrs. By excusing Jeff Orr's behavior we are excusing others like him and there are many just like him. This is a problem and it grinds my gears.
If you want to read a fabulous article about this, click here.
What do you think? Am I being naive? Do I need a chill pill? Do you not give a shit?