It’s important to remember that professional athletes are normal people who just happen to have enormous bank accounts.
Saturday night’s game between the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres up in Washington D.C. was going just about as expected for a couple of hours. The Nationals have been decimated by injuries this year and the Padres are still one of the elite teams in baseball. Fernando Tatís Jr. was doing his nightly routine of bending the laws of physics when he got caught rounding third too heavy but somehow avoided the tag coming back from Trea Turner. San Diego increased their lead up to four before running off for the bottom of the sixth.
That’s also when the chaos began to reign.
Fans at the #Nationals/Padres game are asked to remain in the stadium due to an action outside Nats Park. Have seen multiple tweets of reports of a active shooter outside of the stadium pic.twitter.com/iCCjrgypKm
— Mismatch (@MismatchSports) July 18, 2021
The scenes are harrowing–gunshots were heard outside of the stadium but nobody really knew where it was coming from at the time. Responding to their basic fight-or-flight instincts, people just started sprinting to the exit with no real knowledge that they were running directly where the danger was.
The PA system at Nationals Park tried its best to keep the crowd tamed by urging the people to stay in the ballpark for their safety. It begs the question though, why would someone with little-to-no knowledge about the situation sit in the open stands while they think their life is theoretically in danger? It didn’t really make sense at the time since most people were not aware that the shooting was occurring outside the stadium, and the players took note of that.
Here is the footage of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers helping fans when in fear (of the shooting at Nationals Park). pic.twitter.com/9ApuHIs4Oy
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) July 18, 2021
Shortly after the initial videos and reports that fans were simply fleeing the stadium at full speed, people were able to catch multiple Padres players opening the gate to the field in order to let their families and fans into any kind of shelter. Tatís Jr. opened the gate to the field and people just flooded in. It’s almost tough to comprehend at first. Our brains are so wired to see these athletes as different entities than us and expect to have no commonalities or similarities, they’re placed into another level of society that seems untouchable at times. Good thing that’s far from the case.
— Alaina (@alaina1424) July 18, 2021
Can we please stop getting viciously mad at these athletes for what they do on the field? Tatís Jr. is a generational phenom but has a little too much fun for old heads. Machado doesn’t always sprint down the line or give max effort at times, it’s ok. We don’t need to vilify these guys because they happen to make an exorbitant amount of money. They’re human, just like everybody else. They didn’t have to run out of the dugout to let people on to the field, they could’ve gone back to the clubhouse to protect themselves and their interests. They should be commended for what they did, and we as fans should realize that we’re really not all that different.