Athletes’ treatment of fans was once again discussed on social media after a video of members of a volleyball team went viral.
The video showed the members of Choco Mucho Flying Titans (CMFT) who seemed to snub their star-struck fans as they were onboarding their ride.
The original footage came from their fans on TikTok who recorded the girls as they were about to leave Boracay Island.
One of the TikTok clips showed CMFT members walking slowly toward a bus. As the members boarded the vehicle, the fans greeted them and wished them well.
The fans seemed to have waited for them near the bus. They also did not go near or crowd over the CMFT players.
@allimelli26 CMFT GIRLS DEPARTURE IN BORACAY 💜UBE GIRLS #DeannaWong #BDL #ODINA #CMFT #deannawongst #chocomuchoflyingtitans #ChocoMucho #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound – Alli Melli
A motivational speaker later saw this video and shared it with his one million followers on Facebook.
The internet personality also placed a screenshot of his tweet over it.
It reads: “Sino po ang coach nitong mga ito? Dagdagan pa natin ng konti pang training sa good manners & right conduct.”
“Sino ba sila?” the user named Rendon Labador further wrote with a face-palm emoji.
His video was the one that erupted on the platform. So far, it garnered at least four million views, 40,000 reactions and 21,000 comments.
Kim Atienza, also known as Kuya Kim, also joined in and reacted to this video despite it being edited.
In his reaction, Atienza advised the team to become responsible public figures.
“As public personalities, (yes athletes are also public figures), we have a choice to inspire and show gratitude to fans who passionately support us or we can choose to stay private and give them the cold shoulder. This team should be advised that catering to fans is a responsibility, otherwise, stay out of the public eye and play privately,” he said.
The veteran television personality also described the situation as an “irritating yet sad sight.”
“What an irritating yet sad sight. I hope they are advised by their sponsors to act properly in public. Back to you guys,” Atienza said.
On fan behavior
Several Filipinos perceived that the players or at least some of them could have at least said “hi” back to their fans.
“It’s true na hindi nila responsibilidad na makipagpapicture or makipagengage sa fans pero isang hi man lang girl. But they acted like they didn’t exist,” one Twitter user said.
“A simple Hi and Nod with them are so GOLD and PRECIOUS,” another Facebook user commented.
Other online users also reacted with more scathing comments to the team’s perceived snooty behavior.
Several CMFT and Philippine volleyball fans, however, ran to the volleyball team’s defense.
They urged other fans to treat athletes as normal people who have privacy rights despite them being considered public figures.
“Yes. They are public figures. They are players. They inspired people. They have fans. They play for the country. But did you consider that they are still Normal People, who want to have time and relax,” one Twitter user said.
Volleyball analyst Mac Dionisio also pointed out that fans do not have access to the athletes’ personal lives.
“You do not know any of those girls on a personal level. What if one of them gets anxious when surrounded by people during her personal time? And if one says yes to photos or says hi, it would mean she, too, would have to do it despite her mental state?” he tweeted.
The issue later reached an online forum called r/Philippines.
One Redditor said that it is unfair for the CMFT team to be judged solely for one footage.
“Something seems off. The players are silently walking to the bus, without even a single word. It makes me think that maybe, for whatever reason, they were given explicit instructions to not interact with anyone and just march to the bus quietly. I think it’s unfair to immediately judge them without really knowing what’s going on behind the scenes,” the Redditor said.
Talks about athletes and their fans were previously brought up on social media after volleyball player Dennise Michelle “Denden” Lazaro-Revilla called out some of their fans in a live stream last August.
CMFT’s libero asked them to respect their job as professional players instead of showbiz personalities.