The 2019 NBA finals were a disconcerting reminder of the dangers facing professional athletes.
Raptors and Warriors were falling down and crashing into each other again and again. Big guys. Guys like Marc Gasol and DeMarcus Cousins.
Could anyone say with a straight face that we should limit cumulative trauma claims?
But most dramatically, we saw in real time (and in endless replays) Kevin Durant snapping his achilles tendon and Klay Thompson tearing his ACL. Most fans and viewers reacted in horror as they limped off court.
Yes there is something primal about the hero wounded in battle leaving the field. Our hearts are broken. We see it, and replay it again and again.
We may never forget Thompson leaving the court in obvious pain, then turning around in the tunnel, ACL torn, coming back out on the court to shoot two three throws.
But unfortunately, we live in a culture that also has haters ,trolls, and privileged fans.
Some Raptors fans cheered Durant’s misfortune. Trolls and snarky idiots had questioned Durant’s motivation while he was out from the calf injury suffered earlier in the playoffs, suggesting that he was faking the calf problem.
And a billionaire VC who is a minority owner of the Dubs shoves Kyle Lowry, a Raptors star.
It is long past time for a reset of fan behavior, and also of the snarky culture of internet tweeters and trolls. Social media has exacerbated a monster.
Zero tolerance for snarkiness is a good place to start.
Durant and Thompson will likely receive the very best medical care, undoubtedly without some of the hurdles placed in front of the average worker who seeks care for a work injury . Durant and Thompson deserve it.
All of our workers deserve it too.
Chevron has an ad about “Do-ers”. People who do things.
Through their injuries, our athlete heroes remind us of the hazards to those who are “Do-ers”.
We should celebrate our athletes, but also not forget those who put their bodies on the line every day. Here’s a toast to them all.