In general terms, sports fans have a tendency to point to a particular team’s fan base and suggest that they are unique in their actions. This is largely inaccurate. People are people no matter where they live. Genuinely considerate individuals and fucking pieces of shit live in both Boston, Massachusetts and St. Louis, Missouri.
However, unique circumstances arise for individual fan bases in different cities, and we, in our eagerness to judge and classify, falsely label the reactions to those circumstances as being a trait held only by that set of supporters. This occurs frequently in our minds and we express it often.
For instance, we might say that Yankees fans are terrible, but what we really mean is that the Yankees fans who sat in our section while supporting their team on the road were terrible. Again, both nice people and complete jerks are fans of every team in the league.
In passing this type of judgment though we depend on anecdotes of particularly poor behavior. For instance, Philadelphia Phillies fans have a reputation for being the worst because they threw batteries at J.D. Drew or a fan who intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl at a game. These are disgusting and despicable acts. And they, along with the famous Pete Rose quote – “Some of these people would boo the crack in the Liberty Bell.” – will always be brought up as anecdotal evidence when someone suggests that Phillies fans are the worst.
Last night, supporters of the Toronto Blue Jays supplied a brand new anecdote to put them in the running with Philadelphia. As I wrote about earlier today, a man passed away after going into cardiac arrest at last night’s White Sox/Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The incident occurred in the stands along the third base line and stopped the game for several minutes, as a cart came onto the field and the man was taken to hospital.
It was Chicago third baseman Kevin Youkilis who alerted umpires to the situation, and sadly, it was Kevin Youkilis who received verbal abuse from fans as medics were performing CPR and chest compressions on the dying man. His comments about the incident appear in the National Post.
The guy is getting carted off and fans are yelling crap at me, talking crap. I just sat there and got frustrated. You don’t even know what’s going on. There’s some person over here in serious problems. It puts it in perspective, you know? This is a game, it’s not life or death.
The insults hurled at Youkilis weren’t from fans who were ignorant as to the seriousness of the situation. It was from fans in the very same section where paramedics were attempting to treat an unconscious person. From our own comments section, someone in attendance, seated nearby, shared the following:
What was disgusting was the fans that screamed “Youkilis look what you did.” Even as the situation grew worse and worse, these idiots decided to keep yelling at Youkilis, the only guy on the field who notified the umps. It really shows how stupid and useless some people can be.
I don’t think that Toronto Blue Jays fans are worse than other fan bases. As I wrote in the opening few paragraphs, fucking pieces of shit live in every city. It just so happens that circumstance conspired to allow the fucking pieces of shit in Toronto to be put in the spotlight.
What Blue Jays supporters have to deal with now is the reputation gained by such actions. This is the type of anecdote that people will bring up when describing why the fans in Toronto are the worst. And it makes me physically ill to consider that it’s this scum that will be used to represent an entire fan base not unlike any other.
Update: Just to show the contrast of what I’m writing about here, more than $20,000, largely through the efforts and financial commitment of Blue Jays fans, has been raised for Omar Malave, whose story you can read about here.