Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rooting Against LeBron, Cont'd

Really enjoyed this argument from SI's Joe Posnanski about why it's OK to root against LeBron.

He incorporates the nuance that is missing, both from the idiot extremists on the "hate" side who don't represent the vast majority of fans in this LeBron situation...

...and from the moralizing harpies who would tell me who (and how) I can and can't root for (or against) because they presumptuously equate my nominal enjoyment at LeBron's failure with "hate," a notion that is offensive, to me and to folks who really have to deal with "hate."

I'm a pretty big believer that the fans' first amendment -- not too far off from the real First Amendment -- for sports fans is this and absolute:

As a fan, you have the right to cheer -- or boo -- for anyone or any team you want, at any time.

You can be a die-hard, you can hop on and off bandwagons. You can wear authentic jerseys, you can wear a pink hat.

Whatever: It's your right as a fan to be a fan however you want to be, including the essential right to boo.

(Should you be a dick about it? Absolutely not. But staying on the benign side of everything -- jeering included -- is probably a fair goal. Are there social norms that come along with the vocalization of fandom and might reject a fan who strays too far from the orthodoxy? Sure. But, in the end, I'll defend any fans' right to express their fandom how they want... with the clear caveat: As long as they aren't infringing on other fans.)

I go back to what I said this morning: The vast majority of fans rooted against LeBron benignly, and the vast majority of media hand-wringing over the rooting against LeBron misappropriated words like "hate" in ways that don't reflect how things really are with most fans.

Anyway, Posnanski's take is a smart one that normal fans don't need to read to feel OK about rooting against LeBron, but perhaps anti-booing moralists need to read to grasp what happened this week.

-- D.S.

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