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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Toxic fandom

Sports fans have become increasingly harmful to each other

As a sports fan, I love going to the games and watching my favorite teams play. No matter the sport, be it football, baseball, NASCAR, they are all great to watch in person. 

But one of the worst parts of live games is being surrounded by obnoxious fans.

Buffalo fans are known to be some of the worst. While there is no harm in the typical drunken, idiotic fan behavior, lately this has crossed the line and become more toxic than ever before.

The behavior of a few makes the rest look bad. As a Bills fan I’m used to the stereotype that all Bills fans are drunken idiots, but as sports fans we need to act better and more respectable for everyone in the stands. 

Need I remind you about the dildo that was thrown on the field against the Patriots? That makes an interesting family talk for parents whose kids ask what’s on the field. 

Sporting events are family affairs. I remember my parents taking me to Toronto for Yankees games as a kid. But in all of my time at games –– in Toronto, Baltimore and Cleveland –– I’ve never seen behavior like that in New York. 

Yankees fans are already considered the worst sports fans because they are annoying. But throwing beer and popcorn at Astros fans crosses the line. Let’s not add “bullies” to the list of Yankee-fan complaints. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thrown around a few f-bombs in frustration –– like at last season’s MAC Championship in Detroit –– but never anything that crossed the line.

And the fighting in the stands needs to come to a stop. 

Do you realize how stupid you look fist fighting in the stands? I don’t know what looks worse, the way that the fights are filmed or the people trying to fight. 

Sports fans also need to stop being keyboard warriors. 

Going onto an athlete’s social media and calling them dark names, is ineffective and inappropriate. 

People dislike Megan Rapinoe for her life off-the-field (believe me, I am not too fond of her myself anymore). But calling her names and making homophobic remarks because she’s a lesbian is wrong. 

Where does that get us? Do you feel better being a keyboard warrior while she won the FIFA Women’s World Cup? She is probably laughing at every single comment that comes her way, knowing that she is the top women’s player in the world. 

This can get darker than that, too, as some athletes have even received death threats for their work. 

The athletes are doing their job to get paid and people send them death threats for it. You can’t be that stupid!

I am not saying that fans should only cheer for the good of their team, I think heckling their team’s opponents is great. 

But all fans should be able to enjoy themselves at a game and not have to worry about being in danger.

So be loud and rowdy, but also be somewhat civil. 

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