Unfortunately, Golden State Warriors fans are getting a bad rap right now.
Fans leaving the arena chanting, "LeBron's a b----, LeBron's a b----."— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 14, 2016
Maaaannnnn lemme bathe in these "I can't respect it if it's not against a full strength team" tweets all night. Tomorrow too. It's too much— FearTheSword (@FearTheSword) June 14, 2016
steph hive is the most delicate hive in american pro sports.— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) June 14, 2016
Whether at the arena or on social media, there seems to be a growing perception that Warriors fans are, well, kinda...jerks and whiners...?
And while you might want to respond to that by saying NOT ALL WARRIORS FANS!, unfortunately some of our Golden State of Mind community members aren't helping to ameliorate the situation. And I think we can do better.
So since I know the site has attracted a lot of new members who may not have been around when we previously discussed the rules, I thought now would be a good time for a little refresher of some key rules.
1. Let's relish in the community here & block out the noise
A couple of months ago, Derek Knight wrote a piece counseling us all to take responsibility for making the community a place that can an affirming place with dialogue that's "...uplifting, satisfied with the glory of our team's victory..." as we enjoy this unbelievable ride that the Warriors are taking us on. The whole thing is probably worthy of your review, but he said something more explicit in the comments that has become particularly relevant now: Basically, travel forth into known uncharted lands filled with people rooting for the exact opposite outcome as we are on GSoM, but don't bring back the comments proving they don't want the same things as we do.
Unfortunately, we're going to have to take that a bit further at this point.
We've been alerted to numerous GSOM members going over to Fear the Sword during the Finals and getting themselves banned. And, quite frankly, it's sort of embarrassing to hear about that from another manager, especially after looking at how some people got themselves banned.
Thankfully, most of the people getting banned aren't regulars — it's a lot of random people who signed up for both sites this year and chose to troll the Cavs. So if you've been a daily reader for a while, this probably isn't directed at you and you can go on about your day.
But for anyone new to this site or SB Nation generally, I just want to make a more direct plea than Derek did previously: do not go to Fear the Sword to comment or bring back their comments to share. And after a few chats with the folks over at Fear the Sword, we've decided to enforce bans reciprocally at both sites. In other words, if you get banned there, you'll get banned here.
Obviously, emotions are running high at this time and it's certainly interesting to get outside perspectives on a series with so much at stake. But with the Warriors on the cusp of a second consecutive championship, we should be collectively sharing the joy of incredible feats instead of miring ourselves in negativity with opposing fans.
And if you're just a person who loves screaming negativity into the endless expanse of the Internet, have you ever heard of this trendy new site called "Twitter"?
2. What would Adonal Foyle do?
Since we're on the subject of civility, I want to direct you to a key principle from our community guidelines: What would Adonal do? Or WWAD?
What would Adonal do?
GSoM community guidelines
In internet communities, plans are little more than desperate attempts to keep total anarchy at bay. But we've gotta try to do it. We're a community, one that wants to grow and prosper. We aren't going to get there without some modicum of order.
What would Adonal do?
With more people joining the comments, we've seen a lot more profanity. And, as Ivan wrote in the community guidelines, constantly falling back on profanity to express yourself seems to have the effect of dragging down the discourse into a place that's less respectful, substantive, and (honestly) readable.
To help people along during this exciting time, I'm going to start paying more attention to hiding comments with "excessive cursing" as stated in the community guidelines. We're not interested in regulating the raw emotions of game threads or postgame threads, but outside of the emotions of the game, I think we can be better.
So before you type that next comment, ask yourself, "What would Adonal do?" and I think the most substantive path will reveal itself to you.
3. Be respectful. Be inclusive.
We can hate on LeBron all you want. You can rejoice when Draymond Green gets the better of him. But we do not need to engage in openly misogynistic and sexist taunts.
So I think we can accept the challenge posed by Curtis Harris of Pro Hoops History on Twitter the other day:
Apparently I've touched the third rail of Macho Basketball Twitter.— Pro Hoops History (@ProHoopsHistory) June 13, 2016
Lotta people upset that "bitch" is considered a sexist term.
For those of you shocked that "bitch" might be a sexist term.— Pro Hoops History (@ProHoopsHistory) June 13, 2016
Here are several dictionary definitions of the term pic.twitter.com/DM4pjCFw0X
Perhaps consider correlation between widespread use of "bitch" and the prevalence of sexism in sports? Or just lol https://t.co/R605fI8Aty— Pro Hoops History (@ProHoopsHistory) June 13, 2016
Radical Idea: find ways to trash talk in basketball that don't invoke racism, homophobia, and sexism.— Pro Hoops History (@ProHoopsHistory) June 13, 2016
It is possible.
Obviously, "bitch" falls under the category of "profanity" for our purposes, but saying things like LeBron uses feminine hygiene products or has female anatomy are the clearly misogynist things that I'll be moderating too. I don't think anyone here actually wants to perpetuate a culture that demeans, dehumanizes and dismisses women by referring to them as emotional, weak, or less capable than men.
As @ProHoopsHistory said, it is possible to avoid that type of discourse and I think we can rise to that challenge.
Let's enjoy the end of another successful season and try to avoid the negativity.
Feel free to offer up your thoughts in the comments — I'm always open to feedback.