Since when is it not OK for fans to boo an athlete? I think it’s every ticket holder’s right to do whatever they want (within reason), especially when ticket prices have soared to an all-time high. If you’re paying $100 to watch the All-Star Home Run Derby — feel free to boo Robinson Cano — or anyone else for that matter.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I’m talking about:
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was selected as the captain of the American League team for this year’s All-Star Home Run Derby. The game was in Kansas City, so Cano said that he would select Royals first baseman/designated hitter Billy Butler for his squad. Well, he didn’t. Cano went with Toronto’s Jose Bautista, Detroit’s Prince Fielder and Los Angeles’ Mark Trumbo instead.
Let’s just say the Kansas City fans weren’t very pleased. When Cano came to the plate at Kauffman Stadium for the Home Run Derby, the boos started to echo through the stands. The fans didn’t stop booing until Cano stopped hitting. As Cano recorded his final out, the boos actually turned into cheers. That’s because (as karma would have it) Cano, the defending Home Run Derby champion, went homerless in his first at-bat — in turn — eliminating him from the competition.
The boos didn’t go over well in the world of baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that, ”While I understand Kansas City and I understand the whole Billy Butler thing, I really felt very badly.” Union head Michael Weiner even voiced his displeasure after the Home Run Derby by saying, “It struck me that it moved a little bit past traditional, good-natured booing, particularly for an event like that, and got into another area.” Wait, so you can boo, but don’t boo so much that you might hurt a players feelings? I didn’t realize there were different levels/areas of booing. That’s just a ridiculous statement.
Athletes are in the spotlight. They choose that lifestyle. When they sign their name on a multi-million dollar contract, they open themselves up to criticism. It’s just part of the deal. They know exactly what comes with the territory. I don’t feel bad for Robinson Cano, or anyone else who gets booed. This is what they signed up for.
I honestly don’t boo at games myself. Most of the time I can’t because I’m a member of the media and there’s a “No cheering/No jeering” rule you have to abide by. But, even when I go to games as a fan…I stay away from booing. It’s just not the way I am. With that said, I’m not opposed to other people booing. Think about it – boos are the only way a sports fan can voice their displeasure. The folks in Kansas City could write an angry letter to Robinson Cano, but that wouldn’t accomplish anything, because Cano would never read or respond to them. But, boos, there’s no hiding from those. I think Cano heard the message loud and clear.
What do you think of the Robinson Cano situation? How about booing at sporting events in general? I would love to hear your opinions. You can leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget you can also find me on Pinterest and YouTube, or you can always visit http://allaroundtim.com for more!