We previously wrote about Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez getting into it with a fan outside of Fenway Park last weekend.
A video posted to Twitter over the weekend shows Velasquez boarding a team bus when a nearby fan suggests that he “learn how to pitch.”
A second video shows that Velasquez didn’t like that comment or being called “pathetic,” so he stepped off the bus to confront the fan, telling him to “shut up” and “I want to see your fat ass go and do it.”
This led up to it. pic.twitter.com/Dp35rcK3jx
— Matt Rappa (@mattrappasports) July 11, 2021
Naturally, like all things of this nature, the video, which has over 158,000 views as of this morning, sparked a debate between those who believe athletes like Velasquez should have thick skin in such situations and those who believe they should be allowed to fire back.
Frankly, I think Velasquez’s response is exactly how many people would respond in this situation. At the very least, it is how many people would want to respond.
It’s easy to sit at home and say this stuff is part of the job and comes with the territory, while noting big salaries, but players are human. Criticizing player performance is totally fair game, and his performance Friday night was certainly not good, but being needlessly rude to the guy when he’s minding his own business? Why? For what?
Still, Velasquez posted an apology for the confrontation to his Instagram story yesterday afternoon.
Vince Velasquez issued an apology for the Fenway Park incident over the weekend to his Instagram story. pic.twitter.com/eIsR6LAoGZ
— Bob Wankel (@BobWankelCB) July 13, 2021
As for the “fat-shaming” element of this, I mean, yeah, generally speaking, fat-shaming is wrong. But when someone initiates an interaction by being aggressively rude, the ensuing terms of expected decorum change.
You know, treat me with respect, I treat you with respect. That kind of thing. These are ground rules we typically set in elementary school.
Anyway, good on him for taking the high road with an apology — even if he didn’t need to issue one.