Kate Upton went on Twitter to express her displeasure after news that Boston Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello won the 2016 Cy Young Award over her fiancée, Detroit Tigers hurler Justin Verlander. This despite the fact that Verlander had more first place votes than Porcello. It was later revealed that Verlander’s name was not on two of the 30 ballots that were cast. Upton took to Twitter to call out the two writers that didn’t put down his name. That prompted a reporter for the New York Times who covers the Yankees to throw shade towards her. Verlander had to come his fiancée’s defense. Personally, I believe Baltimore Orioles reliever Zach Britton should have won the Cy Young. But that’s an argument for another day.
The week before, Kaela Carpenter, the wife of Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter, took some shots at Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. During the game, the Bills were lining up to attempt a field goal when Sherman jumped ahead of the snap and made a dash towards the ball. Sherman made a diving attempt at the ball before Carpenter kicked it. But at the same time, he made contact with the kicker which by rule is considered a penalty. A penalty was called for the offside but none was called for the hit. Carpenter appeared to be injured but was able to continue playing. Afterwards, Kaela Carpenter went on Twitter to suggest Sherman be castrated for his hit on her husband. Not one to that looks the other way, Sherman went to call her statement racist (even though it wasn’t). One can understand when your husband gets decked by an apparent cheap shot (which it was) but Carpenter’s wife had no idea what she was getting herself into or who she was up against.
Then there’s April Reimer, wife of former Maple Leaf goaltender James Reimer. She was caught in the middle of Twitter tirade over her husband’s performance in net after the Leafs were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. And she DIDN’T initiate anything. Some Leaf fans wanted to express their displeasure and, since James did not have a Twitter account but his wife did, she took the brunt of the criticism. It makes you wonder how blind people can use a smartphone. But as I have so eloquently explained, it can be done.
If there is one suggestion I would make to the wives, girlfriends, mothers of professional athletes, stay away from trash talking on social media especially if it is towards a male athlete. Women believe they can get a free pass when they get into a verbal war with reporters, fans, teammates, etc.. This puts men in a position where they don’t know how to respond. The thinking is: if he keeps quiet, then she has a point. The other side is: if he speaks up, he will be called a sexist or misogynistic (or racist if it involves two people of different ethnic backgrounds). Then you have those who see the posts and they react to them, often negatively. The result usually ends up having people being drawn into an arena that they can not get out alive. There is also the psychological effect of getting into a war of words especially if it is with someone you don’t know. It is one thing if you have Sherman going up against someone like Floyd Mayweather. But Sherman vs. Mrs. Carpenter becomes an awkward situation.
The Internet is already full of psychos who are more than willing to fire shots at people in the name of free speech. Don’t add to this by putting someone in the crosshairs because your future husband didn’t win an award. He made have deserved it, but don’t take away his accomplishments because you wanted to point out the omission by a couple of journalists. It isn’t worth risking your reputation, credibility, and most importantly your career.