After letting their displeasure be heard Monday night, fans of the Golden State Warriors are reverberating their booing online, filling up comments sections on the team’s Facebook page as well as on newspaper websites.
If you didn’t hear the news, Warriors fans disrupted a ceremony meant to honor former star Chris Mullin by booing loud and long when new owner Joe Lacob took over the microphone. Whether or not the fans were expressing anger over the Warriors’ recent trade of star player Monta Ellis, or over the team’s flirtation with moving to San Francisco, or with years of terrible front-office moves, is still open for debate. And that debate is healthy and ongoing, both on the Warriors’ Facebook page as well as on the San Francisco Chronicle website.
While some fans on both sites are expressing dismay for the negative outpour at Mullin’s jersey-retirement ceremony, many others are taking umbrage at Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins, whose column Wednesday was headlined “Fans’ faux pas might not be all about Ellis” and started off with a line that said “It was inexcusably rude for the Warriors’ fans to ruin Chris Mullin’s halftime ceremony with such relentless booing.”
As commenter Galacticmule said, “Bruce, if you’ve been abused as much as Warrior fans have been for the past 35 years, would you be courteous? Instead of being up in arms about booing, how about listening to the message behind the boos? This is the most fiercely loyal fan base in the league. And the only thing you can take away from fans, FINALLY, fighting back is that they are rude? Where have you been, man, where have you been?” As of 11 a.m. Pacific Time the post had 68 comments, with no signs of slowing down soon.
Over on the team’s Facebook page there is the usual you-suck type of comment battles but there is also some evidence of longtime fans continuing to vent their wrath at a new ownership that isn’t living up to its boastful promises. A post with Chris Mullin highlights has 233 comments and another post about Monday’s game has 402 comments, many of which are about the booing.
So far, the team doesn’t seem to be doing any editing or censoring of bad news or profane comments, but is instead letting its fans — who have filled Oracle Arena for years even though the team is a perennial dud — have their say. We’ve highlighted how the Warriors have used social media well to promote feel-good things like fan shootarounds and access to interviews with the players. Let’s see if Golden State can use social media to turn the tide of emotion now swelling against the ownership.