Fans Boo Cardboard Cano

by Jean Tower

In a recent Tonight Show episode, Jimmy Fallon had a staffer ask people on the street if they wanted to boo second baseman Robinson Cano, returning to the Yankees after a brief stint with the mariners. A photo of Cano covered a large freestanding cardboard sign, and fans did not know that Cano was actually standing behind the cardboard. The question was, would fans boo Robinson Cano to his face?

The fans showed were all willing and eager to boo cardboard Cano, and all did a double-take when Cano stepped out from behind the sign and greeted them face to face. My favorite fan reaction was a man who laughed abashedly, shook Cano’s hand and said, “Listen, about that…”

This situation is a great teaching and learning moment for working with students on online civility and digital citizenship. What people are willing to say and do when they are empowered by anonymity or virtual exchanges is quite different from what they do when facing a real, live person. It would be great to have students deconstruct this scenario and describe analogous situations.

Starting with the video can be a powerful conversation starter.

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