We know all too well that professional athletes are subject to taunts from fans involving profanity and racism. I mean heck, we get some hate mail here at LBS just for writing stories — imagine what happens to athletes that drop a touchdown at the end of a game. Well just paying for an admission ticket doesn’t give a fan the right to be a total jerk, so on Sunday Rays manager Joe Maddon decided to address an inappropriate fan.
As I learned from the St. Petersburg Times via FOXSports.com, Maddon asked to have a fan removed from the team’s spring training game for racial taunts directed at B.J. Upton. The fan’s comment was said nearby the dugout and was heard by Maddon and other coaches, so it’s not like it happened in the outfield where only B.J. could have heard it. Rather than waiting for something to break out, Maddon acted swiftly to have the fan removed.
Later on Sunday, a twitter account popped up with the accused person identifying him/herself as an Orioles fan who was kicked out of the game. The person denied the racist allegations, writing “by no means did I use any racist terms against Upton or anyone else. I simply yelled he sucks because I don’t like him. Maddon is a liar.”
Obviously I wasn’t there and don’t know what was said, but I’m believing Maddon before the fan. My guess is the comment was borderline and that’s why the fan doesn’t think anything wrong was said, but it was obviously enough to set Maddon off. Like I said, I give Maddon the benefit of the doubt before the Orioles fan, and why is it that B.J. finds himself in the middle of racial issues again?