There are times when you should not try too hard to find flaws. There are definitely times where focusing on the positives can be a good thing but sometimes you have to find where the issues are so things can start improving.
I certainly will never try to hide my love for sports and there are so many great things to love about it. Whether it is the instant classic games, the players giving back off the field or, like we saw at the U.S. Open this week, two competing players coming together for encouragement, there are plenty of moments to remember.
However, in the past week, there have been some moments to remind us of some of those flaws in sports across the world. The one which obviously caught the eye of the public was when Andrew Luck shockingly announced his retirement then walked off the field to his home crowd booing him.
This almost certainly will not reach any fans in Indianapolis but there is surely going to be another situation in the future and it may affect your favorite team next time. But it doesn’t matter if it has a connection to you or not, we should all be disturbed by that reaction from sports fans.
For everything Luck put on the line for the sheer entertainment of these fans, he finally decided to get a grip on his health and safety. We all can agree mental health is important but sometimes people seem to care only after something happens.
It’s always said, ‘Why didn’t they reach out and tell someone?’ Well Luck has reached out and said he needs help and this was the response he got. Fans should be supportive of any player who is thinking about their health over possibly pushing too far before anyone realizes it.
Another infuriating case of poor fans happened across the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend when Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku was subject to racist chants from Cagliari during a soccer match. Lukaku stepped up to take a penalty kick in front of the home fans when the crowd turned to loud monkey noises and racial slurs. Lukaku slotted home the PK, quieting the cowards in the stands, but unfortunately that’s not enough to fix everything.
It was the third time in the last three years a player was abused by fans at Cagliari and no one seems too worried about finding and banning those fans from the stadium. Yes, this is a big problem across Italy and much of Europe but that does not mean we should not care on this side of the world. We certainly have not found any perfect solutions for racism playing a role in sports here.
It may be as small as some incredibly harsh chants from student sections on a Friday night. There is plenty of fun to be had on the sideline; I loved it in the stands at Pelham, but there are lines I have seen crossed during my time here. I have heard discriminatory slurs, I have heard the reactions to an opposing player getting seriously injured and I have heard threats, empty or not, said toward players on the field.
You may never witness or be a part of a reaction as big as the two mentioned above but it begins on a much smaller scale. There are plenty of fans who may never do those things in public but they will agree or laugh with the ones who do.
When I say we can be better as sports, I mean all of us. There are separate fan bases and obviously everyone is an individual but we can be better as a whole.
Step in when you see things turning negative. It certainly should not be hard to want to see all of those things taken out of the sports world because I promise it will make it better.
Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for The Tribune.