Cleveland sports fans are mad at Donovan Mitchell and it’s utterly silly.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Guardians fandoms rarely ever find some common ground outside of their love of Cleveland sports. They have different rivalries, different villains, different favorites, and the like. Very rarely do the fandoms overlap as in a Venn diagram. Yet, today, apparently, they each have a person they’re not happy with.
Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers’ centerpiece player, and MVP candidate from this past season, ran afoul with both fandoms at the same time when he tweeted out his amazement over New York Mets first basemen.
Alonso, currently facing the Guardians in a weekend series in New York, hit a massive grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning of Friday’s game, which the Mets won after mounting a comeback from 7-3 down.
Mitchell, a lifelong New York sports fan, was obviously happy that his team did a big thing.
But this didn’t sit well with a lot of fans, with some asking him to delete his Tweet, while others outright wanted him traded over such a silly statement.
And it’s forced me to remind all of you that Mitchell, and any other pro athlete, is under no obligation to support Cleveland sports.
Donovan Mitchell did nothing wrong
I’m a Guardians fan. They’re “my” team. I adore them. I have no problem with Mitchell rooting for the Mets. And why would I? He’s from New York. Are the Mets his favorite sports team ever? Don’t know, don’t care. He’s under no obligation to cheer for a Cleveland sports team just because he plays for one.
The fact there are fans who demand players do this is baffling. They’re professionals. They’re allowed to like and not like whatever and whomever they want. They’re under no obligation to do anything for the city they play for, other than play as well as possible.
Getting upset because the player you like doesn’t like the same things you like doesn’t make sense. Not everyone needs to share your opinion. People are allowed to like a variety of things. Not everyone needs to embrace tribalism to such a point that you run off one of the NBA’s 10 best players (according to MVP voting).
So what if Mitchell likes the Mets? That doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. It’s not like he’s from him, like LeBron James, and was rooting for the Yankees and Cowboys over the Guardians and Browns. We know Mitchell is from New York, he owes the local sports scene no favors, and to get upset that he’s a sports fan of the city he grew up in and around is silly and childish.
Don’t get mad that Mitchell is a sports fan just like you. Try finding some common ground and embrace the fact he loves sports as much as you. We need to be less awful to people who are just out here being themselves and not hurting anyone.