Should Athletes Be Expected to Say Hi to Fans? Kim Atienza Joins Online Debate
Dec 6, 2022   •   Meryl Medel
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Dec 6, 2022   •   Meryl Medel
Do public figures have to say hi every time a fan approaches them? That’s one of the debates that have been dominating social media this week following a viral video of a volleyball team allegedly snubbing some fans.
On December 1, a video of volleyball team Choco Mucho Flying Titans (CMFT) went viral on the internet after the team allegedly snubbed fans. In the short clip, members of the team were in Boracay Island, boarding their bus, when a few fans called out to them. The fans were waiting beside the bus, behind the ushers of the volleyball team, calling the players’ names and hoping to get noticed. Most players had their heads down or turned away from the camera in the video clip.
The video was then shared by fitness vlogger Rendon Labrador on his social media accounts, including Facebook, where he has over a million followers.As of writing, the video has gained over 950,000 views on Tiktok, over 4 million views on Facebook and over 2.5 million views on another Facebook page. This has prompted social media users and different personalities to weigh in on the issue, including Kim Atienza.
Days after the video was posted, the TV host chimed in to give advice to the young volleyball players. According to Kuya Kim, as athletes, they are also considered public figures who have a responsibility to cater to fans.
“As public personalities, (yes athletes are also public figures), we have a choice to inspire and show gratitude to fans who passionately support us or we can choose to stay private and give them the cold shoulder. This team should be advised that catering to fans is a responsibility, otherwise, stay out of the public eye and play privately,” he wrote on his Facebook post. He also described the alleged snub as “an irritating yet sad sight.”
“I hope they are advised by their sponsors to act properly in public. Back to you guys,” Kuya Kim added.
Some agreed with Kuya Kim, saying that it’s only common courtesy to acknowledge someone saying hi to you. One netizen pointed out that some fans might have covered long distances or spent long hours on the road just to see their idols only to get ignored.
Others, however, justified the athletes’ alleged snubbing, saying that the athletes are also normal people like everyone else. “Yes. They are public figures. They are players. They inspired people. They have fans. They play for the country. But did you consider that they are still Normal People, who want to have time and relax,” a Twitter user wrote.
Another netizen pointed out that it’s their time to rest and recover after playing back-to-back games during the volleyball season. “Instead of telling them how to treat fans better, why not tell fans to set boundaries? A little empathy would be nice,” the user wrote.
Kuya Kim, these are athletes, not celebrities. They are volleyball players, not actors. It’s their off-season, which is their only time to rest and recover. Instead of telling them how to treat fans better, why not tell fans to set boundaries? A little empathy would be nice 🙂
— DK Eri || Spurs 65-17 (@NotDKPodlesnykh) December 4, 2022
Volleyball analyst Mac Dionisio quoted actress and vlogger Rica Peralejo: “‘Tao lang din kami. When we’re out, we’re actually doing normal people things.’”
You do not know any of those girls on a personal level. What if one of them gets anxious when surrounded by people during her personal time? And if one says yes to photos or says hi, it would mean she, too, would have to do it despite her mental state?
— Mac Dionisio (@Benggadora08) December 4, 2022
Fellow athlete Bea Tan also emphasized that the volleyball players are athletes first, and “they don’t get paid to say hi to the camera.” A few months ago, volleyball player Denden Lazaro urged fans to respect athletes as athletes who play the sport. “We’re here for a job, for our work, trabaho namin yun. It’s not a mall show,” she said.
We have roles in this world and we get paid for the value we bring to the table. Athletes choose to play and get paid to play well. They don’t get paid to say hi to the camera you’re pointing at their faces.
— Bea Tan (@beaistan) December 4, 2022
Today, Kuya Kim reiterated his earlier sentiment, claiming that “It may be hard sometimes but it’s par for the course.”
On Twitter, the TV personality also shared tweets from volleyball fans sharing photos and clips of the CMFT players taking selfies and saying hi to fans, acknowledging that the viral video may be a one-off incident. In a Facebook comment, Kuya Kim also speculated that the athletes may be tired, but it’s “proper to remind them” about their responsibility.
And it might even be part of their protocol. One Redditor speculated that they were given instructions not to interact with anyone. “Something seems off. The players are silently walking to the bus, without even a single word. It makes me think that maybe, for whatever reason, they were given explicit instructions to not interact with anyone and just march to the bus quietly. I think it’s unfair to immediately judge them without really knowing what’s going on behind the scenes.”
What are your thoughts on this alleged snubbing of fans? Comment down below!
Snub or Private? What is Happening Between Kuya Kim Atienza, Volleyball Players, and Their Fans
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