I’m a New York Mets fan. It blows. Compared to being a New York Jets fan, though — while I also am, yay me! — it’s a walk in the park. Take a second to wrap your head around how depressing that is: the Jets make the Mets seem somewhat competent.
This past season, while the Mets were a wildly average baseball team, they still made headlines all the same thanks to Javy Baez, who was acquired at the trade deadline to try and help the Mets make the playoffs. Spoiler alert: he didn’t. Not only that, but the Mets weren’t even able to retain his services, as he ultimately tucked tail and went to the Detroit Tigers on a six-year, $140 million contract.
Baez was, however, in town long enough to piss off Mets fans, as he seemed to be at the center of the infamous “thumbs down” saga, which saw a few players on the team — Baez, Francisco Lindor (who came nowhere near to living up to his massive contract during his first season), and Kevin Pillar — give each other a “thumbs down” celebration when they got on base, which was also their way of “booing” the fans. It was, to say the least, very ill-advised, as virtually everyone in the sports world — New York City-based or not — ripped them for it.
Apparently, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle only took the wrong lessons from Baez and co., as he, too, unleashed the thumbs down during Thursday night’s comeback win against the Boston Celtics.
Unsurprisingly, the OGs on NBA on TNT — Charles Barkley, Shaq, and Kenny Smith — took Randle to task over his petulance by highlighting that not only is New York City a famously passionate town but that this is the “the way this thing works” for professional athletes: if you play well, people cheer you. If you play poorly, people will boo. It’s that simple.
"They're there to cheer or to boo. There's only two things you can do as a fan."
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 7, 2022
The Inside crew discusses Julius Randle's 'thumbs down' gesture during their win at MSG pic.twitter.com/xz117pnF23
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 7, 2022
Nailed it. While professional athletes who claim the game — whichever sport it may be — “ain’t like it used to be”, that’s certainly the case here as this would’ve *never* happened 20, 30 years ago. The entitlement and petulance of some professional athletes can be astounding at times.