Dear Urban Diplomat: Should I publicly shame a homophobic Leafs fan?
Last week, my friends and I went to a Leafs game. In the second period, a guy in the row ahead of us started yelling and pounding his seat at the team’s every mistake. (There were many.) He was tanked, so we were going to cut him some slack, but when he started hollering homophobic slurs, one of my friends secretly filmed him. We want to hold him accountable, but we’re not sure whether to post the footage online. Should we become public shamers?
—The Avengers, Lytton Park
Unleashing the wrath of the Internet on this atrociously behaved fan isn’t likely to curb his loutish bigotry. It might deter other would-be meatheads, but there’s a chance it could also turn ugly quickly (see: the great Rogers Centre beer-tossing saga of October 2016). I’d save cyber-shaming for public figures and instances where the offence itself took place online. If you truly wanted to hold this guy accountable, you should have alerted security instead of recording a video to post after the fact. Getting him ejected from the game would have given him a clear sign that his behaviour was not going to be tolerated—a message that would have been heard by other fans, too.
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