Remember when David Ortiz spoke to Boston Red Sox fans after the Boston Marathon bombing? Remember when he said “This is our ****ing city” on live television? Remember how everyone stood and cheered and loved him for doing this? Remember when FCC chairman Julius Genachowski tweeted, “David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston” immediately afterwards? Well apparently not everyone agreed with his decision.
This is United States of America. It’s a wonderful country that allows all of its citizens to express themselves and their opinions, no matter how ridiculous those opinions are. With these freedoms several Americans voiced their opinion to Genachowski about how outraged they were that he wasn’t going to fine Ortiz for his comments.
Instead of just changing the channel, 25 Americans who apparently only watch Leave it to Beaver re-runs, rushed to their computers to email their disgust about what Ortiz had done. Instead of focusing on how Ortiz united a clearly impacted community who had just lived through the most riveting 24-hour manhunt in recent history, they chose to send emails like this one from an unidentified yahoo in Saratoga Springs, NY:
“Julius should be fired!! Glad he feels this doesn’t fit the guidelines, you’re organization is like your leader a ****ing joke. ****ING joke!! I hope Julius gets ****ING cancer and dies!! Please understand I’m under a lot of ****ING stress!”
An angry, irrational, and vitriolic response like that from a person who is likely a New York Yankees’ fan? Didn’t see that one coming!
From Lafayette, Indiana someone wrote:
“David Ortiz use of the “F” word was inappropriate and vulgar. There is NO occasion where children should have been subjected to that.”
While I agree that children should generally be shielded from such language, should they also be shielded from reality? Should we pretend that the Boston Marathon bombing never happened because it left people dead and others with missing appendages, so as not to upset children? Of course not. Instead this could have been a teachable moment for parents. They could explain to their children how such an emotional event brings out behavior in all human beings that we normally wouldn’t condone.
When Ortiz let the “f” word come out of his mouth it was clear that it wasn’t planned. It was a reminder that athletes are people too. They are passionate people with human emotions who were equally as impacted by the tragedy in Boston as their fans were. In light of the extenuating circumstances I applaud and stand with the FCC for their decision to not censor Big Papi.