Any fan that utters a racist remark or throws peanuts at a player should be banned from entering a stadium. That’s obvious.
But I’d take the ban further. I’d put a bracelet that criminals wear around the guy’s ankle and refuse to allow him to leave his yard.
Last week Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones says that during a game in Fenway Park he heard the N-word directed at him and had a bag of peanuts thrown at him. The next day, a fan made fun of the singer of the national anthem, calling attention to the singer’s race. The fan was kicked out.
The problem is strength in numbers. You get bottom-feeders who wouldn’t dare confront Baltimore’s Jones on the street. But at the game they’re tucked away in the bleachers and surrounded by friends, if they have friends.
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Anybody who has gone to more than a few games has heard comments that are racist. They’ve heard other obnoxious comments, too.
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf played nine NBA seasons and in two of them averaged 19.2 points. He had Tourette’s syndrome. A front-row fan at Charlotte Coliseum shouted Abdul-Rauf’s name as the player ran down court and made fun of the disease with exaggerated movements of his mouth, head and shoulders.
I walked past the fan at halftime and asked why did it.
“Just having some fun,” he said.
Good one. Funny guy. Please don’t be here all week.