I think it’s fair game to go after a player’s performance. But to go after a player personally is another thing altogether. Sure, if they put their character or behavior in question, fine, but there’s a big difference between “Player X stinks” and “Player X is a jerk.”
Many more steps beyond that on the vile-o-meter is going after a player’s family. Which is what happened to Heath Bell after he and the Marlins were featured on “The Franchise,” and which has led to him and his family quitting social media altogether. Because people were saying all kinds of ugly things, such as …
“That (Bell’s wife is) ugly, fat, disgusting,” Bell said when asked what were some of the negative comments he had seen on the Internet. “That my kids are not really good. They’re ugly looking. They’re not respectful. That I can’t pitch because I don’t have a beautiful wife. All those good things. Anything you can think of … It was everywhere.”
One of Bell’s kids has Down Syndrome, by the way.
I know that public figures are going to draw the idiots, and maybe public figures should do their best to ignore the noise, but there’s no excuse for that crap.
People are the worst.
(thanks to Jim C for the heads up)