Editorial: Fans need to show respect when a player goes down injured
Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 22:10
Last week during the Texans-Rams game, Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub fell to the turf with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. He didn’t get up immediately, indicating an injury. This led some fans in the stands to start cheering. When it was clear that he was injured and backup T.J. Yates came into the game, the cheering only increased. Texans fans had grown frustrated with Schaub because he had been playing poorly, throwing an interception returned for a touchdown in four games. While he was certainly playing poorly, this in no way allowed the fans to cheer when he went down with an injury.
The team ridiculed the fans afterward when Texas left tackle Duane Brown called the fans cheering Schaub’s injury “disgusting,” and Yates calling the applause “disrespectful.” Houston defensive end Brian Cushing went as far as to call the fans’ reaction “barbaric.” Schaub himself said that “there’s no place” for that kind of behavior in the game.
A similar situation happened during the Caridnals-49ers game last week as well. Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell went down with what ended up being a neck injury. Campbell lay on the turf for a few minutes before being carted off. One would have expected the San Francisco fans to remain silent out of respect for the player. Instead they did the wave and players slammed them for it with Joe Staley taking to Twitter to say, “To all the fans that did the wave while a player was on the field in pain getting carted off, I was embarrassed for you. Very disrespectful.”
A similar problem is when fans boo a player’s injury, particularly on the opposing team. Sometimes players, particularly defensive players, will fake an injury to stop the clock or stop an offenses’ momentum. As a result fans will boo when an opposing player is down on the turf, thinking they are faking an injury. However, fans are in no position to know if someone is faking an injury. They should give players the benefit of the doubt and be respectful.
Football is a dangerous sport, and the players put themselves at risk of injury on virtually every snap. In football or in any other sport, regardless of whether it is a player on their team or on the opposing team, fans should be respectful whenever a player goes down with an injury.