Desk of the Editor – Humankind. Be both.
I used to think the fantasy baseball community was welcoming. I used to think the fantasy baseball community was accepting. I used to think the fantasy baseball community was a great place to be.
I don’t think that anymore.
As a woman who discusses sports as a hobby on various websites, podcasts, and Twitter, I get my fair share of criticism (and unwanted ‘pictures’) regularly. Sadly, I expected this when I started my journey in sports writing. And my issues with sexism in dynasty baseball are worthy of their own treatise. However, there have been some super toxic/high school/Mean Girl action in the mainstream fantasy baseball scene the past couple of weeks that are exclusionary and crappy in a general sense…and it has to stop.
I remember when I was invited to Tout Wars this year. It was always my goal and honestly, I never thought I would be invited. I waited until it was officially announced before I expressed my joy on the invite. Before I could even announce things, my timeline was filled with laughter, and “I’m better than the new additions” tweets were floating out on Twitter.
Why can’t we be supportive and be congratulatory to the fantasy analysts that were invited…or heck…just not say anything at all. Sure; you are probably a better fantasy manager than me…there are many managers “better” than me…but we should be applauding our internet friends’ successes instead of saying “oh…I’m better than him/her’. What does the latter accomplish?
Nothing. It accomplishes nothing. You can’t even say it makes you feel better because it definitely does not. It only adds tension and hostility to the community. I’m not saying you cannot be upset that you were not invited or felt slighted in any way but maybe we should be happy for people who received good news. In the end…
There is already enough hated and strife in the world. Why bring on more trouble and heartache about a game we play. In my opinion, fantasy baseball should be fun. If you want to play with friends, do that. If you want to put a few jellybeans in the pot, do that. If you want to put a boatload of jellybeans in the pot, do that. Whichever avenue you take, enjoy it. But your enjoyment of the game should not be diminished by someone else’s enjoyment of the game. And if it is, you’re doing it wrong.
Remember a human is on the other side of the keyboard.
This is a big one for me. It is really easy to tappty-tap-tap on your keyboard to fire off a mean and/or rude tweet or comment but we have to keep in mind there is someone on the other side of the keyboard. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online.
It is okay if someone has a different opinion than you.
It doesn’t make them DUMB or STUPID- it can just be a different opinion or viewpoint. Don’t quote tweet and say “Look at this bozo.” This accomplishes nothing and will cause anger. If it is a different opinion or incorrect analysis, ask why they feel this way. Start a conversation…and not conflict. Don’t be a bully. Besides, no one has ever bat 1.000 with this game. We’re all wrong from time to time. So chill out.
I love this game and I’ve made great friendships, but this “Boy’s Club/Baseball Knower” atmosphere on Twitter needs to stop. It sucks and it keeps more people from getting into, and ultimately loving, this game. There’s no one among us that’s never had a bad opinion or take. We always grow and change and adapt, so stop acting like someone is lesser-than because they don’t hold the same opinions as you. I hate I felt the need to step up on a soapbox to discuss this but I hope this brings about change, even if it is small.