ESPN’s Jason Fitz talks to Clemson fans.
Yesterday, Fitz uttered these words to the Clemson faithful:
When we came into this show to start the year I didn’t have a favorite team. I don’t have any team I root for or any team I root against. I just love college football as a whole. I have gone through this season trying to be as unbiased and impartial as humanly possible. If there is any one thing that has come from my first season hosting a college football television show it is you have given me a reason to have a rooting interest. But it’s not a rooting interest for it’s a rooting interest against. I am here to tell you all that I now actively root against Clemson. Not just now and not just until the end of the year but until you guys turn it around. When I say you guys I don’t mean anything on the field. I mean all of you jerks on social media. You sit there and you watch TV and you say that you want players to act like they represent the school. You say you want your coaches to act like they represent the school. And then you represent the school like jerks on social media. I’m tired of it. You guys are now the reason I am anti Clemson.Article continues below ...
Fitz statement didn’t sit well with fans, and I thought I would try to reach Jason for an explanation. Just as he responded to fans, he was eager to respond to my question of, “what triggered your anger towards the fans?”
The statement was triggered by the vitriol sent to me on social media throughout the season for any statement the fan base didn’t like. Frankly, since the show aired today, many kind fans have reached out. But no fan base can touch the amount of hate Clemson has sent throughout the year. Being told to go kill myself over a comment about the brand of donuts involved in a celebration ( as part of a light hearted segment of the show) was a very real and specific example of one of the many attacks from fans. By far the angriest fan base I’ve dealt with throughout the season. I realize social media gives a voice to many, and most fans aren’t part of that hate filed narrative , but at some point that narrative must be challenged in an attempt to ask fans to handle themselves better as representatives of their collective fan bases.
I didn’t see the show and definitely didn’t know why donuts would fuel such hateful words, but Fitz was happy to explain.
It was referencing the post game celebration against Wake, where the team ate Krispy Kreme donuts. The segment (called umoji) asks us to react with emoji signs. I reacted negatively with the comment ‘I love the celebration. But the donuts are wrong! Krispy Kreme sucks, it should have been Dunkin’ Donuts’. Nothing serious. Not a hot take. That was one of many moments fans came out in droves. Ha. I get that Krispy is from the Wake area hence the celebration choice. But the level of hate was strong.
As far as rooting against Clemson sports, he issued this statement.
Obviously, good fans exist for every team in every sport. But the lowest common denominator is what forces the perspective of many programs. I never root for any college kid to not succeed no matter the team or sport. But it’s hard for me to stand behind the Clemson fan base as a whole based on the representation of that whole I’ve interacted with.
Fitz left me with these last words.
Again…. the goal here wasn’t to anger a fan base. It was to raise awareness of how many of the fans act. We get hate weekly. Burden of doing Tv. But Clemson’s fans are louder and angrier about less than all the rest combined. I realize I opened the gates of hell with my comments, but if even one person thinks about what they type it’s worth what it has done to my social media walls today.
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