On Thursday night, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley got into it with a fan during the Reds’ contest against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
In a video that has now gone viral, Fraley points his finger at a section of fans, telling them to “shut the (expletive) up.”
While it wasn’t surprising to believe Philadelphia fans could rile up an opposing player, Fraley’s reaction made it apparent that this wasn’t a harmless taunt.
After the game, Fraley said he reacted the way he did because a fan mentioned his kids.
“You can say everything you want about me,” Fraley told Bobby Nightengale of Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t really care. I’ve heard it all, all the way from college up to the big leagues now. But as soon as you start talking about my kids, you’ve crossed a line. There is a respect line that unfortunately I guess those guys didn’t understand. Right, wrong or indifferent, it was what I decided to do in order to express the emotions I felt were needed in that moment.”
In a day in age where fans seem more emboldened to act out than before, Fraley says he chose to take a stand.
The 24-year-old said he knew and hoped the video would go viral. He believes it might help fans understand that players aren’t going to tolerate that behavior.
“We’re playing a game that is extremely hard,” Fraley said. “And if you cross a line talking about somebody’s family, especially somebody’s kids, just because you were sitting in the stands doesn’t mean you can do that. I felt like I needed to say something and that was the decision I made. I stand by it.”