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Raptors fans, soccer celebrations put sportsmanship under scrutiny

Raptors fans, soccer celebrations put sportsmanship under scrutiny
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Disrespect was front and centre this week in the sports world after basketball fans mocked a star players injury and a soccer team showily celebrated goal after goal -- after goal.

Much of the reaction raised concerns of sportsmanship both on and off the field of play.

At the NBA Finals, Toronto Raptors fans jeered at Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant, who suffered an Achilles injury in Game 5 on Monday. At the Womens World Cup, the U.S. team thrashed first-timers Thailand 13-0 on Tuesday and celebrated each goal no less fervently than the one before.

Depending on who you ask, the behaviour is either excusable or reprehensible.

I think its totally fine, said Samantha Kemp-Jackson, host of the Parenting Then and Now podcast, on CTV News Channel. Lets face it, these women are at the World Cup. Its probably the culmination of their sports career.

The World Cup match was enough to make relatively inactive Twitter user Peyvand Mossavat, the head coach of soccer programs at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, sound off online. He called the excessive celebration a disgraceful display of behaviour .

At the world stage, to do this is unacceptable, he said in an interview with CTVNews.ca. You should feel bad about celebrating it in your opponents face.

This was not about a turnover, this was about celebrating a serious injury to the other teams best player, he told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.

Theres a distinction -- its not fuzzy, I think its pretty clear -- between normal gamesmanship you can expect from dedicated fans and vulgar behaviour, he added. When Morgan used to report on soccer, he saw fans of other countries clang pots and pans outside Canadian teams hotels, the type of behavour he said amounts to normal gamesmanship.

But reports of Toronto fans swearing at Steph Currys family members and sucker punching Golden State Warriors fans in Toronto make it clear: We cannot hold up Raptors fans as fans that are better and more righteous in the sports world, he said.

While the expectations of decorum may seem different for player and fan, both the World Cup and NBA Finals incidents raised the question of team leadership for soccer coach Mossavat.

The moment [Durant] was being carried off, what happened? The leadership on the Toronto Raptors team put their hands up in the air and told everybody to be quiet, he said, referring to players Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka who were seen comforting Durant and attempting to calm fans.

Thats leadership, he said. The U.S. womens team needed [Megan] Rapinoe, the coach, to say Hey, calm this down. To give these young ladies on the pitch some perspective on where they are, where theyre playing. Lets show some class.

What a disgraceful display of behaviour by the US at the World Cup. Celebrating goals 11, 12, 13?!They should be ashamed. Its unacceptable pic.twitter.com/hgbiZAhDiM
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