I support the rights of sports spectators everywhere to not like everyone on the field. Liking everyone is not compulsory.
I do not accept that they have a right to call names, boo, hiss, swear, curse or insult anyone who takes the field / court / cricket pitch, or anyone else for that matter.
I’ve seen plenty of this behaviour directed at footballers and participants in various other sports in my time, and it sickens me. If they weren’t among the best, they wouldn’t be out there.
The colour of someone’s skin, their racial or religious heritage, or their sexual preferences have absolutely nothing to do with it.
I support the rights of all people to work in their workplace without harassment, vilification, or threats of harm. That applies to footballers as well as mechanics, teachers, doctors, nurses and everyone else. If you wouldn’t accept that treatment at work, don’t expect anyone else to. If you would feel threatened with hundreds of people “booing” at you, don’t expect others not to.
To belittle, mock or harass someone is childish. To support that kind of behaviour among people who should know better is worse. For heaven’s sake, we’re not all six years old.
Yes, sometimes people do things that we don’t like. Sometimes people do things that they regret. Sometimes, one’s actions end up having consequences that they certainly did not expect. That’s life. We’re all human, and nobody’s perfect.
I think it’s about time a lot of Australians took a long, hard look at themselves, got over their arrogance, and learned to play nicely with others, both on and off the field.