Minnesota Twins’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is angry, again. The former American League MVP took to Twitter this past Sunday to voice his displeasure with the NBA All-Star game. Donaldson called it “embarrassing to watch.” Does he have a point?
“Baseball is the only legitimate All Star game in sports. You can’t go easy when a guy throws a 100. All the other sports besides hockey should stop having them. It’s actually embarrassing to watch.”
Baseball is the only legitimate All Star game in sports. You can’t go easy when a guy throws a 100. All the other sports besides hockey should stop having them. It’s actually embarrassing to watch.
— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) February 21, 2022
Legitimate All-Star game is an oxymoron. These are exhibition games for the fans. They don’t count in the official standings. The game itself usually comes after at least half the season has been played; in the case of the NBA it comes at the three-quarter mark. In the NFL it is in between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
These dudes are tired and don’t want to get hurt. Who can blame them for taking it a little easy in an exhibition game?
To be fair to NBA All-Stars, they ramp up the intensity in close games in the fourth quarter. Now with the different rules like the Elam Ending you get to see players’ competitive juices.
The fact that Donaldson said “all the other sports besides hockey should stop” having All-Star competitions is interesting. Whether intentional or not, Donaldson has played into an extremely negative and racist stereotype about Black athletes: that they don’t play hard.
By choosing to say “besides hockey,” which is a majority-white sport, that is the implication being made.
Donaldson doubled down by retweeting a clip of a play from the NBA All-Star game.
What the hell is this level of effort pic.twitter.com/uzTnY5QaI8
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) February 21, 2022
The reactions to Donaldson’s tweet varied.
“Sometimes it’s not about competition it’s about the fun, the ASG would suck if everyone was playing lockdown defense and not having fun,” a user tweeted.
“I went to the MLB All-Star game here in Cleveland a few years ago. Took my son. Great seats. Left after 6. Terrible to watch. Boring. No one hit the ball. Awful. I’ll take NBA all day,” another user tweeted.
“Hockey is the one that really does the All-Star Weekend right though, even more than baseball. Their skills competition is even more fun than the actual ASG. Baseball should do a skills challenge. You know, if they ever play again,” a user tweeted.
Why is Donaldson so worked up about a meaningless exhibition game? There is nothing embarrassing about putting on a different kind of show for fans. In a game that doesn’t count, fans want to see lots of threes, dunks and behind-the-back passes.
Offense excites fans and that’s the one game per year in sports that is truly about exciting the fans. It’s why All-Star games exist.
At the end of the day, these are all games. The arena was sold out and the All-Star game drew in five million viewers on television. Apparently, it’s working just fine for plenty of people. If Donaldson’s sensibilities are so offended, he has a choice. Don’t watch. Nobody is forcing him to.
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