Athletes treated like showbiz personalities?
Volleyball player Dennise Michelle “Denden” Lazaro-Revilla called on the public to respect their job as athletes.
In a live stream on Kumu last Saturday, the Choco Mucho Flying Titan‘s libero called out fans asking the players to dance during the warm-up before the game.
“We’re not there to sing and dance. We’re there to play. We’re there to do our jobs. At the end of the day, trabaho namin yun,” she said.
“We’re here for a job, for our work, trabaho namin yun. It’s not a mall show,” the volleyball player added.
While there’s an ongoing game, Lazaro also shared that some fans near the bench would ask volleyball players on the bench for a picture.
“Hindi kami artista. Athlete kami,” she said.
“We’re here because we love the sport, sobrang bonus na lang we get to meet people [and] we get new opportunities,” the athlete added.
The volleyball player found the behavior of some fans “improper and distracting.”
She also asked them to be considerate of other people watching the game.
The 30-year-old athlete also felt bad as she observed that most of those who attend their games are there not to watch the game but only to see their idols.
According to the volleyball player, even if there is a good rally, there’s not much reaction from the crowd just because their idol is not part of the play.
Lazaro also asked fans to learn how to “read the room” when asking for selfies or photos, as some would invade their privacy.
She said there are fans who feel so “entitled.”
According to Lazaro some fans would also make them feel bad for declining to take a photo with them.
After Lazaro spoke up, a video clip from 2020 of her teammates Maddie Madayag and Deanna Wong also resurfaced.
Wong shared that during their immersion, someone woke her up just to take a picture which she found rude.
Madayag appealed to the fans not to disturb them during private times, especially at their house.
During the Holy Week last April, Wong’s fans flocked outside their Cebu residence.
Fans then expressed support for Lazaro and praised her for speaking up.
“Some volleyball fans are extra annoying with their ‘couple ships’ and the way they idolize the players without respecting the sport itself,” a Twitter user wrote.
“Don’t expect athletes to do fan service, my God, it’s not a part of their job description,” the online user added.
“Anyway, Denden Lazaro-Revilla, a queen inside and outside the court forever! Spitting all the necessary facts as always,” a Twitter user wrote.
“No need to prove her relevancy coz one need not be ‘relevant’ to speak the truth. Besides, her game speaks for her. Always have, always will,” a Twitter user wrote, lauding the player for being a role model to her friends and fans.
Volleyball analyst Mac Dionisio also expressed his support for the volleyball star as some questioned Lazaro’s statement and popularity.
“In the hearts of volleyball fans, Denden Lazaro is not only famous. She is part of history,” Dionisio said in a tweet.
He also backed Lazaro’s appeal for proper decorum during games.
Nobody is telling you to not watch the games live. She is just appealing for proper decorum during games and hoping na in the process, you also learn to love and appreciate volleyball. Because it is a beautiful sport.
— Mac Dionisio (@Benggadora08) August 6, 2022