Twitter blasts on-court cameras, but need to realize it was an accident
By ANNIE MOORE
College Contributor Network
Recently, in the NBA Finals Game 4, basketball megastar LeBron James stumbled out of bounds, running headfirst into an on-court camera. The collision left James shaken, with a cut on his head. It also left everyone with a keyboard and a Twitter account with an apparent need to express their opinion on the on-court camera.
Most of those opinions were negative, and it has now turned into a veritable maelstrom of anti-media sentiment. Big names such as Aaron Rodgers are weighing in saying "the camera guy couldn't move his camera? The on-field and on-court cameras are unnecessary [in my opinion]."
It is alarming to see the best basketball player of this generation bleeding from his head on the sidelines, that is unquestionable. But what is perhaps more alarming is the sheep mentality which that image served as a perfect outlet for. It is the propensity of many today to have a visceral reaction to a hot button issue, and quickly tweet out their 160 characters on it, because God knows everyone is dying to hear it.
But I would venture to say that 99 percent of those opinions are formed within 15 seconds of seeing the picture/headline/accident, without full consideration of all aspects of the issue. Once that avalanche of "expert" opinions starts, there is no stopping it. The jury is out before the game is over, the media is evil and those on-court cameras must be stopped. This all before hearing word one from LeBron, the NBA, the cameraman, or anyone actually involved in the incident.
Social media is the way we communicate now. Trending topics and hashtags dominate the lexicon, and often those sites are how we form community. Through social media we can say "I'm doing what you're doing", "I'm watching what you're watching". Unfortunately, these messages are often dispersed as uninformed opinions. Statements jumping on a trending topic, without stopping to consider whether it might be a valid point, or if theirs is just another voice in the crowd of thoughtless dissent.
While Rodgers and other experts in their respective fields offer valued opinions to many, they are not the sole voice. How about talking to the cameraman, who worked his way up to that coveted seat spot. The one who goes to work everyday with the knowledge that basketballs, and athletes will be flying around him and he could get hurt at any time. All to provide the in-game feeling to millions of us watching at home.
The reality about on-field and on-court cameras is they are a part of every sporting event you've ever watched. The irony is that a lot of the people who are quick to condemn the sideline cameraman, are the same people who watch sports religiously and have enjoyed the views provided by said camera.
Where were all of these fervent activists when their favorite wide receiver was running over to the camera getting hyped straight in the lens? That's right, they were eating it up.
The accident with James running into the camera was just that, an accident. The cameraman was inside the area deemed acceptable by the NBA, and was doing nothing wrong, and James happened to fall into him. While it is easy to offer up the solution of eliminating cameras entirely, in retrospect that is a grave overreaction to a created problem. It was an accident. Nobody was seriously injured, no lives were in danger. We all lived to tell the tale. When two cars pile up on the interstate, we don't all take to our keyboards to condemn the department of transportation. In the inconvenient truth is that accidents happen, and accidents don't always need solutions.
Before you rush to your keyboard to declare your unshakeable opinion on whatever the headline of the day is, take a second to consider whether yours is an opinion of blind dissent out of necessity to say something. If you really feel passionately that on-field cameras are the worst thing ever, by all means continue to express that opinion. But make sure it's an informed decision you're making. This extends to all topics in sports, and aside from them. In this generation of instant gratification, make sure your instant reaction isn't just self-gratifying.
Annie Moore is a junior at the University of Louisville majoring in Communications with a Sport Administration minor. She believes Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. Follow her on Twitter: @AnyMoreSports