It was shocking to see on TV as Marcus Smart shoved a Texas Tech fan with a mere 6 plus seconds to go in what was ultimately an Oklahoma State loss at Texas Tech on Saturday night. Smart had fallen into the crowd, and a nearby man was helping him up when suddenly a man in the second row said something, and Marcus Smart shoved Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr receiving a Technical foul. According to a Feb. 9 Yahoo Sports article, Marcus Smart was not ejected from the game, which was an odd decision for the officials.
Of course people are calling for Marcus Smart to be suspended, and he very likely will, which is sad considering that he made a choice to return to Oklahoma State and play NCAA men's basketball when he could have gone to the NBA and started his professional career. Of course, most people have to wonder just what the fan said to insight the 19-year-old man to such rage. Many believe it was a racial slur. Clearly Smart is not thrilled with the way his season is going after making such a huge personal sacrifice, and it has been obvious.
However, this incident very well could be something more than just frustration at how his season is going. In fact, if you were watching the game, or if you check out a video, you would see that even after the game was over, Marcus Smart was still so upset by what the Texas Tech fan said that he was having to be forcibly removed from the gym by Oklahoma State coaches and personal. This was more than simply being frustrated.
The Big 12 is reviewing the incident "in accordance with the Big 12′s Sportsmanship Policy." Obviously, Oklahoma State University is also reviewing the incident, and most likely both groups will arrive at some type of punishment for the Marcus Smart shoving incident. Hopefully the fan in question will also be removed from attending some games if he cannot keep from verbally abusing players when they fall into the stands as a result of normal basketball play. It seems likely that OSU Coach Travis Ford will also have a job problem sooner than later in Stillwater.
It is scary to see how Marcus Smart has spiraled down during this season. A young man who had the world at his feet. Oklahoma State coaches and staff need to step in and help this young man. As for the adult fan Jeff Orr? He needs to learn how to control his mouth. There is no excuse, and unfortunately for him, if he doesn't stop he could find himself dealing with a lot more than a shove depending on who is around.
This is a time for fans and players alike to reflect on the fact that this is only a game, and ultimately, everyone plays on the same team. The human race. People, do not forget the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated. It's really that simple.