Does this latest fan cheating at sporting events show a disturbing trend?

Fan interaction with athletes, good or bad, has always been a component of sporting events, stealing titles from the famous Western movies of the 1960s.

When Hank Aaron broke the record for home runs in 1974, two fans rolled the base and hit the base, including “Morgana the Kiss Bandit” rushing to the baseball stadium in the 1980s. There was good or harmless fun. Smoke the player before leaving the field.

Then there were the bad and the ugly: fans threw things on the field and court, which occasionally led to catastrophic events adjacent to riots, perhaps most notably when the Indiana Pacers forwarded the Ron Artest. , 2004 Detroit Pistons.

But lately, cheating at sporting events seems to be getting more attention.

In the last month or so, the NBA has learned the following:


Is this a sign of a disturbing trend? Or is it the latest in the history of fan cheating with athletes?

Seth Swally, coordinator of sports and performance psychology at the University of Auckland, provided insights into some of the key questions about these latest incidents.

According to Swary, fans may feel that they have certain privileges just because they spend money on tickets. This allows fans to act as they please.

“Most of the fan cheating comes down to this sense of qualification,” Swary said. “The place where I bought this ticket has this psychological approach, and these athletes are seen as entertainment, not humans. It’s like I bought this ticket. You can do what you want and you can say what you want to do. is.”

In addition, pride in teams and cities can also lead to fan cheating, Swary said.


For example, Irving, who participated in the Nets and Celtics playoff games in Boston, said he wanted no racism among the fans involved in the return. (For reference, Irving played for two seasons in Boston, fought injuries and was involved in several dramas, so it’s his concern. If you’re interested, you can read more here).

Who knows-Irving may have instigated that fan who threw a bottle of water.

“People can take these decisions and personal actions by the player,” Swary said. “It’s (almost)” an injustice perceived for myself and my team. ” It is this fan who sees it as a personal attack on them, even though Killy chooses another city for his career and tries to do his best for himself. “


It was a big role, which changed the game in that fans interacted with players on the court and on the field.

“We have a video of what’s happening, and it gets infected with the virus much faster than it was 10 years ago,” Swary said. “Everyone has a cell phone. Everyone is recording. Now people are involved in the act. Now everyone knows about it and people usually somehow I’m passionate about it. They either defend it or demonize it. “

Okay. According to Swary, athletes have expressed their views as more visual evidence, more social media debate, and more safety concerns than ever before. I want to give you.

“The ability for them to share aspects of things is very powerful for people to understand how influential this behavior is,” Swary added.

According to Swary, the main reason is that after months of quarantine at home, fans have become accustomed to being in the crowd again.


“People are no longer really used to being in the crowd,” he said. “Most of it comes to the crowd. When a lot of people get together, when it’s crowded, when it’s noisy, or when it’s standing, whether or not the fans malfunction, these sociological factors Everything affects it, so suddenly being around this crowd again, because you’re at home and not around a lot of people, can certainly affect it. Excited and a little drink Being around the person who is out plays an absolute role. They get lost in this setting. “

It’s unlikely. Even with the lifelong bans and felony charges faced by popcorn throwers and water bottle throwers, respectively, it is not clear that these cases are diminishing.

“I think the identity with this team goes nowhere,” Swary said. “People love their sport. They love their teams and they love the city.”

Does this latest fan cheating at sporting events show a disturbing trend?

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