Last night Bill wrote about how a Blue Jays fan threw a beer can at O’s outfielder Hyun Soo Kim as he attempted to catch a Melvin Upton Jr. fly ball. That wasn’t all that Jays fans in the outfield hurled last night. Bob Nightengale:
Jones confirmed he heard racial and ethnic slurs towards him and Kim, a native of South Korea. Yet, as cruel as it may be, he’s become almost numb at the slurs he hears from opposing fans.
“I’ve heard that so much playing baseball,’’ Jones said. “I don’t really care anymore. Call me what you want… I get it. That’s fine’’
Except it’s not fine, for obvious reasons. Indeed, it was just the latest in a series of obnoxious acts from fans in Rogers Centre.
The beer can last night. The multiple cans and bottles hurled on the field during Game 5 of last year’s ALDS, following a controversial call involving a toss of the ball back to a pitcher. The series of incidents involving thrown objects and drunken rowdiness in the stands for Jays games.
I fully expect Jays fans to rush to the comments to say that I am unfairly generalizing. That these were just isolated incidents. That “not all Blue Jays fans” behave this way. That fans of other teams behave poorly on occasion as well, and that fans in Toronto should not be singled out. It’s a defensiveness we’ve all seen from any fan of any team when an incident occurs.
But before you do that, understand that I fully acknowledge not all of you do this and that I am not painting with a broad brush here. But such an acknowledgement doesn’t change the fact that last night was ugly as were many other nights at Rogers Centre. One does not have to agree that “all Jays fans” do this to acknowledge the ugliness of this stuff. And one does not make themselves less of a Blue Jays fans to admit that this is absolute garbage behavior.
Clean it up, Toronto. Blue Jays: ask yourself if your alcohol policies are reasonable and if they’re being enforced. Rogers Centre security: ask yourself if you’re doing enough to punish this behavior. Blue Jays fans: ask yourself if you’re, in any way, egging on, encouraging or, at the very least, accepting such behavior of your fellow fans to go on without a word, out of some misplaced sense of fan loyalty.
This crap is unacceptable, even if it is only one person doing it. In Toronto, it’s obviously more than one.