By now, the college basketball world has started to move on from the Marcus Smart incident. Except, you know, Marcus Smart. Because he’s been suspended for three games. He had to apologize to his team and the Oklahoma State fan-base for shoving a jerk, named Jeff Orr, who called him a “piece of crap”. He had to apologize to that very same jerk.
I’m still not sure that Smart should have been suspended. It’s a common trope to say that because fans pay money, they have the right to say what they want, however boorish or vulgar. Some folks have even said that Smart should’ve/would’ve been suspended for his response even if a racial slur had been used. I find this to be an abominable standard.
I guess it all depends on where you draw the line. I think it’s one thing to call into question a player’s play. His decision making, strategy, maybe even his hustle. I don’t mind when opposing students taunt players. As long as it revolves around the game. Chants of ‘airball’, boos even. But to hurl invective at a player, to impugn his character, to call into question his very integrity, especially a 19-year old KID – this is repulsive. This is not how we as college sports fans should conduct ourselves.