Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
NASCAR fans should be ashamed of themselves!
Actually no, let me rephrase that thought. What I meant to say is that some NASCAR fans should be ashamed of themselves. The percentage of fans that fall into this category is most likely the minority (or at least I hope that is the case) however often times in life the few that scream the loudest in a group often give the entire group a bad name.
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This past Sunday in Michigan Jimmie Johnson won the Quicken Loans 400 thus giving him his third win of 2014. The Michigan victory also happens to be his third win in the last four races. After Johnson’s win Twitter and other social media outlets blew up as they usually do following a NASCAR race. Johnson fans obviously rejoiced while non-Johnson fans complained and called out NASCAR for cheating and so on.
While I do feel the fans out there that accuse NASCAR of cheating and giving Johnson and the No. 48 team wins are complete idiots; they are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. While I may not agree with their opinions, there is nothing wrong with tossing your beliefs out there assuming that you can back them up.
Then there are the other fans, the fans that I feel there isn’t any spot for in NASCAR or any other sport for that matter. These are the fans that take to social media and other platforms and call for injuries to other drivers. Following Sunday’s race there were many tweets on Twitter that called for Johnson’s plane to crash on the way to Sonoma or on the way back to the shop in Charlotte. There were even more people openly calling for their driver (or another driver they don’t care for) to do the “right” thing and put Johnson into the wall next race. Now although I am using Johnson as the primary example, this kind of behavior isn’t exclusive to the driver of the No. 48 machine.
In fact, these kinds of comments can be seen directed towards the likes of Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and many other drivers in the series. This behavior is also much bigger than just NASCAR as it can be seen across the sporting world.
Most recently it was seen in the NBA Finals where the San Antonio Spurs just defeated the Miami Heat. As the series between these two teams progressed there were a slew of Heat fans that were calling for Heat players to try to injure Spurs players to keep them off of the court. The same kinds of actions can be seen in the NFL, MLB and NHL. It seems that every sport has a pocket of fans that support athletes getting injured to some extent.
Shifting back to the world of NASCAR; it takes a special kind of person to openly wish that a driver get into a plane crash, doesn’t it?
At the end of the day fans have the right to root for and against whoever they want. That right is one of the things that make sports, especially NASCAR great. However, any fan that would openly wish for a driver to be injured (or possibly worse) needs to reevaluate some things within their own lives. Feel free to hate a driver, to wish a driver finishes dead last, to do everything in your power to discredit anything a driver accomplishes or to boycott the sport because of a driver.
But when it comes to wishing bodily harm onto another human being simply because they drive a racecar better than they person that you root for? Then as though that wasn’t bad enough, certain folks to take it a step further and put those thoughts in the realm of social media for the world to see? To all of those people out there, for all of those “fans” out there, you should be ashamed of yourselves.