The Braves baseball team might not be the first thing you think of when someone mentions the song “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” however when I mentioned this song after we discussed it in class to one of my sports inclined friends his immediate response was “oh did you hear about what the Braves did with this song after hurricane Irma?” I had not and immediately looked up what the situation was.
Apparently, the Braves were playing the Marlins that day, and after offering free tickets to hurricane Irma evacuees who were displaced, they played “Rock You Like a Hurricane” between innings for crowd entertainment. Clearly not an appropriate jest for any sports fan to stand behind.The Braves declared the incident a true accident and apologized profusely. They stated the song was on their home playlist and they had forgotten to remove it and take into account it may not have been appropriate to play during this particular game.
As a class, we talked that day about how violence is visible in some registers but not in others, and this situation is a perfect example of it. The Braves were not taking into consideration the delicate situation that occurred down in the gulf coast with Irma churning across Florida. The Marlin’s team and evacuees sitting through the song playing at a baseball game more likely than not were feeling some sort of violence pitted against them and remembering the violence Irma had brought with her to Florida. They were probably also feeling pressure from the song playing to remember Irma as well. While playing “Rock You Like A Hurricane” presumably did not affect the Braves team or fans in the same way the performance of this song had an effect on the Mariners, the Braves failed to take this into account.
The Braves fans responded, by my standard appropriately and The Daily News Sports section reported “After Thursday’s mishap, the Braves should hope fans return to watch this weekend’s series. Wednesday’s matchup against the Rangers showed an abnormally empty ballpark (despite the announced attendance of 20,364), and it seems they need all the fans they can get right now.” By fans boycotting the next game I believe sent a strong message to the franchise’s owners that if it was intentional it was not acceptable, and if it was an accident they had to do better.