In the finals seconds of Game 2, Ron Artest found a wide open Steve Blake in the right corner for what would have been a game-winning 3-pointer. Steve Blake missed it. And, of course, the rational reaction to seeing that was to send him and his wife death threats on Twitter.
“I hope your family gets murdered,” read one tweet that Kristen Blake re-tweeted along with a single comment: “Wow.”
Kristen Blake also mentioned on her Twitter account that she blocked more than 500 people from viewing her timeline and quoted a Bible verse that included the message: “Pray for those who abuse you.”
Steve Blake responded to the troublesome situation after Lakers practice on Thursday.
“It’s pretty disappointing that there are a lot of hateful people out there, but you move on,” Blake said. “I just don’t appreciate it when it’s toward my family. You can come at me all you want but when you say things about my wife and my kids, that makes me upset.”
I’m an admitted Twitter addict. I can’t watch a game without tweeting about it. And there are millions of other people out there that do the same. It adds a fun dimension to the experience and you get to interact with a lot of different people at the same time.
But Twitter, like most things, and especially most things online, has a dark side. It’s easy to create a Yahoo or Gmail account, create an anonymous Twitter account, and start trolling. The social checks and balances that prevent people from saying things in public don’t exist online, so “I hope your family gets murdered” gets tossed around casually like it’s no big deal.
Yet, it is a HUGE deal. Because the person, in this case Steve Blake and his wife, getting inundated with that nonsense has to see and read it and wonder which of these comments is just some moron taking sports too seriously and which might be from an actual psychopath.
It’s stating the obvious to say this has no place not only in sports, but in society, but it’s clear the obvious needs to be stated to some people. This is just stupid, plain and simple. I don’t care how big the game is or how many shots anyone misses, no one deserves that level of anger. There is no justification for this at all, and the only reason a story like this needs to be told is in the hope that people can recognize just how stupid it is and put a stop to it when they see it.
It’s just basketball, people. Calm down.