For devoted sports fans, "trash talk" is a common way to express devotion to one’s team. It shows their personal connection to the team and their investment in the game; but for an athlete's family, it may cause more harm than good.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Center Al Horford, initiated a "twitter war" during the first half of the Celtics vs. Cavaliers playoff game Friday night. Frustrated with the game’s events, she tweeted "Lebron got to literally handpick his team....this is the result." Tons of negative comments and memes followed the tweet, making an already bad night even worse after the Celtics’ 44 point loss.
Through this instance, an opportunity for kindness presents itself in multiple ways.
As we know, social media is a platform for self-expression, but sometimes the opinions of fans and family can be an unneeded distraction.
In an article from Bleacher Report entitled "The Psychology of Focus In The NBA playoffs", author Art Rondeau quotes Miami Heat President Pat Riley, calling distractions "peripheral opponents: family, friends, media and even team management who, when not speaking with one voice, distract a player or team from its mission." Kindness speaks volumes through words, gestures or deeds. Just Anna's presence at the game could have empowered Al, or if she couldn't suppress the urge to tweet, she could have tweeted encouraging tweets to him and the team, helping them remain dedicated to the task at hand and if nothing else, feel a little better about themselves.
Understandably, it is hard to not be vocal if we see injustices with someone we care about, but for the sake of the athlete, thinking about the possible backlash for him or her could've saved her a world of trouble. Ironically, in 2015 Lebron introduced "Zero Dark Thirty", a ritual that excludes all social media during playoffs. He stresses its importance stating "there's too much nonsense out there. Not during this time, this is when I need to lock in and I don't need nothing creeping into my mind that don't need to be there."
For us, this story relates to any situation in life because sometimes we are so concerned about letting someone know how they made us feel that we don't stop and think about the repercussions beforehand or if it's even worth explaining. Being assertive is a vital part of self-care but with it comes choosing your battles. Not every action requires a reaction, and the ability to choose when and how to react is powerful.
The game starts now, win the day.