Tom Sorensen

Here are 2 things you should stop doing – yesterday – if you’re a sports fan

Boston Red Sox fans taunt Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones after he was ejected for arguing a strikeout call during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on May 3.
Boston Red Sox fans taunt Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones after he was ejected for arguing a strikeout call during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on May 3. AP

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.

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.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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