A Little Respect Goes a Long Ways

Story by Luke Maiers

IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa Hawkeye men’s basketball team is having a tough season. The team is 9-8 overall and 0-4 in conference play. Their defense is struggling big time and it just doesn’t look like this team is having fun like they did last year.

Thanks to the social media age, fans have the ability to connect with celebrities or athletes that they like. While most of the time this is good, an ugly side has been more prevalent this season with Hawkeye fans on these sites. I am not saying that fans don’t have the right to be frustrated or angry. What I am saying is that they shouldn’t direct their anger towards these athletes.

Things to Remember

The first thing to remember when typing an angry tweet directed at an athlete on any team:

Do you think they like losing/struggling too?

No one enjoys losing. These elite athletes have trained for years to get where they are. It is not like they are intentionally executing poorly.

The second thing to remember is that players for the Iowa men’s team are students. Basketball is supposed to be a side thing for them. I would like to imagine that at the University of Iowa, they do things the right way. That means going to class and doing whatever homework comes with their classes. These guys are STUDENTS first. They are athletes and entertainers second. With professional athletes it’s a little bit different.

The third thing to remember is that this team is just getting out-played and out-executed right now. The Penn St., Virginia Tech and Michigan games were lost all because they are better teams than Iowa. Sometimes it is as simple as that.

The final thing to remember is how old these guys are. If all of them walked into a bar only about 50% of them would get served. There is so much development that comes with being a young team. I believe that Iowa fans will see this development on the floor next season.

Once again, I am not saying that as fans you don’t have the right to be angry or frustrated, but just remember what these guys are. Young, part time, student athletes. I’ve had times where I would get angry towards the players too, but after I gained some perspective, I changed the way I acted after a tough game.

Please… if you are actually considering tweeting a nasty message at a player take a few seconds to think about it. Ask yourself what good is this going to do? Do you just need to vent? If the message is only going to make you feel a little bit better then it isn’t worth it. Sleep on it. I guarantee you in most cases you’ll wake up the next morning happy with the fact you chose to be a respectful human being.

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