I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
I recently wrote a blog in regards to Free Speech (http://labs.jsonline.com/JIBloggerV2/BlogPostEditor.aspx?id=101470659&parent=86854332)
There was an incident at Miller Park recently where a fan was ejected by the umpire. Much has been made about the umpire over stepping his authority. But, from the Major League Baseball website, I did find this bit of information (http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/feature.jsp?feature=qa4)
Can Major League umpires eject a fan? If so, how?
Umpires are entrusted with maintaining discipline and order on the playing field, and sometimes fans can interfere with order on the field. Security at the Major League level normally precludes the necessity of an umpire causing a fan to be removed, but this does happen on rare occasion. Umpires are thick-skinned by nature and ignore comments-however inflammatory-from fans.
In discussing this issue at home, I am of the belief that many fans thinks that since they are paying good money to attend these sporting events, they have a right to say whatever they want to the players. I would argue that a fan has a right to boo and call a guy a bumb or something along those lines, but the fan has no right to make the issue personal. The players family should never be brought into the picture.
Would it be OK for a customer at a fast food place to verbally abuse the person at the register or shout back at the cooks, just because you are paying for your food? Would you want somebody to come into your place of work and start yelling personal things at you just because they can?
While I was not at the game and the only real comments we have are from the fan(?) who was ejected, I can not say if his comments were getting personal. I have also heard that the Cardinal catcher was becoming agitated during a previous series because of constant yelling from the crowd. I am sure those notes to get passed on to the next umpire crew. Let's say that the player goes after the fan, who is going to take the biggest grief from the press.
Just as paying fans have a right not to have to listen to abusive and profane language, I would say that players should have that same right. I doubt that many of these fans would come up to the player while they are out eating dinner and verbally abuse them, because the fan does not have the safety of being in the stands.
Where and when do we draw the line?