As America’s head is still reeling from the Richard Sherman attack on social media following his angry rant, we are planted in the face of another “overly” aggressive sports star. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State point guard, was angered after falling in the stands and pushed a fan. What America sees is a young hot head that should not have pushed an innocent fan. But, many are wondering, “What on Earth did that fan say for him to be targeted?”
Marcus Smart is not getting excuses handed out for him because he doesn't need them. However, the media is treating him as if he were a seasoned player of thirty years old, who has been in the game long and should know better, as if he plays for the NBA and not in college. They are acting as if he should have taken this in stride and walked away. What is not being discussed is that Smart is a sophomore in college, not even old enough to buy a legal drink after a victorious game. Fresh from high school filled with the hubris that many young men leave high school with. So as a young man, we can’t expect him to do much but stumble as he learns how to be a humble player, with YEARS under his belt.
Smart had the option to walked no matter how pissed he was. He could have let the fan run his mouth and just walk away, depending on what was said by the fan. ESPN Sports Radio reported that the N word may have been used by the fan. That accusation is believable, being as though the game was in Texas, one of the most racially impacted states that side of the Mississippi River. In that right, Smart’s reaction is not only warranted but understandable. How often is a black man supposed be called Nigger before he reacts, especially in a high intensity situation? In that right, Marcus Smart did not get a good enough hit in for the angered black athletes who go to play in racist venues and are being called Nigger from the stands.
Due to Smart’s past, it is easy to say that he was just being aggressive and nothing actually happened for him to be that angry. He has expressed his anger numerous times. However, like I state in my Richard Sherman piece, this aggressiveness is always blown out of proportion when the person showing it is a man of color. Sports are aggressive, that is what fandom thrives on (obviously if this fan was angry enough to shout even if he did not use a racial slur). Fan’s live for some bloodshed on the field, court, or rink. Aggressiveness and competition runs high, so it is baffling when society tries to draw lines around what is too aggressive. Men and women alike argue every time the rules are changed by the NBA or NFL to make the game less aggressive, so why when raw aggression shows, it is deemed as wrong.
I guess aggression is fine when it is used on the court, but a black man who is aggressive for being called a nigger is just too much to handle.