Chandler Parsons getting booed during the Memphis Grizzlies’ opening-night win over the New Orleans Pelicans wouldn’t be news…if it wasn’t for the fact he was playing in Memphis.
A sector of Grizzlies fans are clearly unhappy that he appeared in 34 games during the first season of a four-year, $94 million before suffering a third straight campaign-ending injury. And that makes sense. The Grizzlies don’t have a ton of upside on the roster. Nor do they have cap space. Parsons represents their best, and only, path toward measurable improvement.
So, naturally, the fanbase is frustrated. But Parsons heard the boos. And he didn’t take too kindly to them, per the Commercial Appeal‘s Geoff Calkins:
Chandler Parsons on booing: "It's tasteless. … I'll treat home games like road games if that's the way it's going to be."
— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) October 19, 2017
Don’t bother faulting Parsons for his response. He probably shouldn’t have said it, but you have to understand that he, too, is frustrated. He doesn’t need noisy displays of displeasure to remind him about his injuries, or about the expectations of his contract, or about how he’ll likely never live up to his deal.
Professional athletes, for the most part, make a lot of money. NBA contracts are guaranteed. Parsons doesn’t need scores of sympathy. But he’s also a person. Fans tend to forget that about someone, anyone, in the public eye who makes a crap ton of money.
So, for the select Grizzlies supporters who feel they have the right after purchasing a ticket to get unnecessarily personal with a player, consider this your crash-course refresher: Booing people for shortcomings that are largely outside their control is fucking stupid.