Kansas City did a tremendous job of hosting the All-Star festivities over the past few days. The city's passionate fans were a major reason for that success. Their relentless booing of New York Yankees star Robinson Cano during the Home Run Derby was a memorable moment.
If it had ended there, everybody—including Cano—would have laughed it off and moved on. Unfortunately, it didn't, according to the Yankees second baseman.
They were yelling stuff to my family, which is not—I don’t see the right thing. You know, this is a game and we’re All-Stars. I mean, if I get booed, I don’t really care. But I mean, when they start with your family, that’s over the line.
Professional athletes are used to hearing boo birds, and that's especially true when they put on Yankee pinstripes, as they are one of the most hated teams in all of sports. It wasn't the first time Cano received a negative reaction, and it won't be the last.
The Kansas City faithful were mad at him for not selecting Royals slugger Billy Butler for the Home Run Derby. Although it would have been nice to include a hometown player, it was hard to argue with any of Cano's choices.
By all accounts, Cano has always been a good teammate and appears to have a happy-go-lucky attitude. Not picking Butler wasn't a slight toward Kansas City; he was just picking the players he thought gave the American League the best chance to win. In the end, he picked both finalists.
Some friendly booing during Cano's homer-less effort and the All-Star Game was perfect. It added to the already terrific atmosphere and showed Kansas City fans still care deeply, even though their team has struggled mightily in recent years.
However, going after family members is never acceptable. While it was probably only a select few fans that let their emotions overcome logical thinking, the incident has emerged as the chief setback during an otherwise flawless event.
Families are off limits. They are just there to enjoy the week like everybody else and should be left alone.
It isn't enough to overshadow all of the positives. The city and Royals organization did a great job with the Midsummer Classic. Having said that, hopefully it's a learning experience for fans around the sports world.
Boo the players all you want, but leave their families out of it.