Is sportsmanship important any more?
A sad byproduct of the Sonics move has been a display of poor sportsmanship by fans as witnessed in the Seattle Times forum. Mudslinging, name calling, you name it and it's been prevalent in many forums. Many OKC fans have taunted Seattle fans as soon as the Seattle/Bennett case was settled, releasing the Sonics from their lease agreement. Many OKC fans immediately upped the inflammatory postings, taunting and agitating Seattle fans that were still in shock. This, of course, lead to harsh responses by a fan base still reeling from the bitter loss. It got ugly.
Just as kicking a player when he is down is poor sportsmanship, so is kicking a fan when they're down. I'll bet that many of these antagonistic 'posters' are kids who've never played the game, or any real coordinated sporting activity outside of gym class. They choose to hide behind the cloaked veil of secrecy the internet provides. Many choose to engage in legitimate and civilized debate. Those are the real fans. Some may have even played organized ball. Why are the ones who do not even play, so often the poorest sports of them all?
Should they be allowed to continue posting? Yes. I embrace the first amendment completely. I wish folks would make quality use of that privilege. We’d be a smarter, more well-rounded society if posters looked to glean knowledge from this situation instead of interrupting quality debates with asinine drivel. Oh well. This is America. Freedom includes the right to be dumb, inefficient, narrow-minded, uneducated as well as the opposite of that. It's a choice we all make.
Now more than ever, sportsmanship is important. Compassion and empathy are part of it.