Mets all star pitcher Noah Syndergaard recently took a stand on social media against one of the greatest fan traditions of all time - the wave. The hard throwing right hander joins a growing group of people that feels that the wave is annoying and distracting, and fans should not be allowed to start it. Thor has also started a #banthewave campaign on Twitter that has gained a lot of momentum among fans. The other side to the argument is that fans should be allowed to do anything they want since they paid for their tickets, so long as it doesn’t violate and rules or laws. In addition, if a player can get so easily distracted by fans, he probably shouldn’t be in the big leagues anyways. The debate has been going on for years in the sports world, but has just started picking up traction in MLB.
This summer, The Texas Rangers were the 1st team that attempted to stop fans from doing the wave at their ballpark. The club did not create an official rule that banned fans from doing it, they instead posted many notices around the stadium that discourages fans from trying to start it but don’t really enforce the rule.
This begs the question, do teams really have the power to ban fans from doing the wave? Implementing a rule that prevents fans from doing the wave would probably end up in a lawsuit for violating first amendment rights and a public relations nightmare for the organization. Even if a team somehow did create a rule against the wave, how would they enforce it? Would they eject and ban any fan that attempted to start the wave? What would they do if fans were still able to successfully start the wave? Would they kick out every fan that participated in it?
Whether you love the wave or hate it, there isn’t a clear solution on what to do with it without causing public outrage from either side, so it appears that it will continue to be a fan tradition for now. If you’re gonna be the fan that tries to initiate the wave, just make sure you’re doing it between innings and not in a key point in the game or you may get booed to sit down.