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Jordan Bean | Sacked

They owe us nothing

Published: Monday, February 3, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 3, 2014 08:02

We love our athletes, but they don’t have to love us back. We want them to care about the games as much as we do, but they don’t have to.

We’re under the assumption that the game is as life or death for the athletes as it is for many fans worldwide, but it is not. The game is a job for which they get paid, and often that’s the end of it.

Fans get frustrated and disappointed when they confront the reality of the situation. Reporters and news anchors created a controversy this past week when Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch made the conscious choice to participate to the minimum during media week.

I’ve heard it argued that he’s an embarrassment to the sport or that it’s his job as a player to speak to the media. His job is, at its core, to take a football and run it as hard and long as he can until he’s tackled. 

By obligation from the league to avoid a fine, he showed up to the event. It’s clear that he doesn’t feel comfortable speaking to large crowds, so who are we to make him do it and judge him when he chooses to avoid it?

I’d like to see all his critics do his job for a living. They are paid to be in front of a camera, behind a radio microphone, or displayed in the local newspaper. It’s comfortable for them to talk to an audience. I’m sure that they would be much less comfortable lining up behind the quarterback staring a 300 pound lineman in the face, yet they have no problem calling someone else out.

Another event to cause a stir locally was the return of the Brooklyn Nets to TD Garden for the first time since Pierce and Garnett’s departures. However, some comments were made not only about them but also about how Ray Allen could’ve received the same treatment as them had he not chosen to go to “rival” Miami.

Allen was not a lifelong Celtic. He had no draws to the city outside of his short stint there. He bounced around from the Bucks to the Supersonics, then to Boston before now settling in Miami. He didn’t owe it to the fans or anyone else to resign.

How quickly fans forget the situation that the Celtics themselves put Allen into. They signed a player who had many of the same strengths he did and would consume minutes available for Allen. He saw an opportunity to play on a clearly superior team, be a key role player and be with a team where he was respected and wanted, so he took it.

Imagine a scenario where you work for Company X. Company X hires a younger, smarter employee to do 90 percent of the work you do. You would likely feel distanced and unwanted. If Company Y swooped in offering a position with slightly less money but a more successful company, brighter future and working with the individual who is currently the best in their craft, you would be hard pressed to find someone that would blame you for leaving.

Athletes live a life that we will never understand. While we can only dream of what it would like to be playing in front of 80,000 people fervently cheering our name; to them it is their job. They don’t owe it to us to stay in a city they were (through no choice of their own) drafted into, nor do they have to pretend that it’s anything more than a job to them if it’s not. It’s time to let the feeling go that they’re indebted to us, because they’re not, but until next time to these fans — you’re sacked! 

Jordan Bean is a sophomore majoring in economics. He can be reached at Jordan.Bean@tufts.edu.

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