Security! There’s a Rafa mob on the loose!

This is so wrong on many levels. Here’s the first two that come to mind:

1. Security should be set up properly so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen.

2. This many people are interested in getting a scribble on a piece of paper from someone.

Maybe I’m weird, but I’ve never understood the desire to collect autographs. Especially in a situation like this – it’s just going to be a quick scribble on a piece of paper (or whatever) that means nothing to the person doing the scribbling. People just need to back the hell off and let the players do their jobs.

I ran this by Kalliopeia before posting as I often do with things that get me in a tizzy (she’s my tizzy checker). She agreed and added, “I mean…I always think of Monica Seles. It only takes one crazy person.” Now that’s a scary thought, no?

16 Responses

  1. Liva Bird says:

    Note the trampling of little kids. Note the parents standing by watching the trampling of little kids. Scary crazy fandom. This is very much a ‘tizz-worthy’ piece of footage.

  2. tiemyshoe says:

    Disturbing. First, I’m with you on the autograph thing – scribble on a piece of paper that the scribbler doesn’t even think about, his hand muscles have just gotten used to the motion. Where’s the personal contact in that?

    I get creeped out seeing people throw themselves at him like he’s a piece of meat, and then touched just seeing him walk off quietly on his own. Shouldn’t he have more people around him?

    • miri says:

      I remember when I once saw U2 out and about in the wild. A crowd soon gathered and people were hanging all over Bono – grabbing at him, trying to take off his sunglasses, etc. I kept wondering how those same people would feel if people did that to them. Celebs are not meat! (Well, some are more meaty than others…)

  3. risha says:


    This is absolutely ‘tizz-worthy’ as Liva Bird put it.

    That’s just bad planning, that is. I really hope they sort themselves out and manage better security for the players AND the fans. This sort of mob is just ruthless.

    I also have a huge problem with the lack of respect for his personal space- I mean, they’re literally climbing over themselves to get to him. It’s bordering on ridiculous, I think.

    I was oddly touched by that last autograph he signed before walking off on his on own(also pulls at the heartstrings). I don’t think a lot of people who’ve just made it out of a mob like that would be feeling kindly enough to sign another autograph.. :) It says a lot about him <3

    • miri says:

      I would have stood in the secure area, shot them all the bird and done a “neener, neener, you can’t touch me you freaks” thing. So yeah, he’s a far nicer person that I am.

  4. Babz says:

    Agree on the autograph thing – I’d rather to be allowed to ask ONE question and they answer it.

    Or a picture is nice enough.

  5. Diane says:

    Even the announcers were upset at the crush, last night. The Monica Seles reference is the thing that concerns me, as well as the kids’ safety. It’s too much.

  6. miri says:

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone. It’s a topic that, I think, needs some conversation. It’s not just Indian Wells, Rafa faced similar crowds at the AO and many other tournaments.

    I know Rafa likes to have contact with his fans and I know the tournaments benefit from allowing such encounters between players and fans, but does the situation need to be re-thought once crowds reach a certain level?

  7. tiemyshoe says:

    I also can’t imagine practicing day-in, day-out with those kinds of crowds. I mean, it’s practice, not a performance – although he must be used to it by now.

    They just need some guards or whatnot to escort him and control the crowds. Or he needs to practice in more private places.

    • miri says:

      Neither can I. Hell, I can’t imagine spending so many minutes of the day with that many eyes on me – watching every move and ready to pounce of I do/say something stupid. He does an excellent job of appearing to be blissfully unaware of all the attention.

      I’m going to my first ever tournament in August this year. I will be sad if Rafa practices on a private court, but I would totally understand why he would do so.

    • Kalliopeia says:

      In two years of going to the Cincinnati tournament, I’ve only ever seen one person disturb a practice (and she was clearly kind of nuts). People are very respectful,generally. No one talks loudly (especially the ones closest to the court). There is a lot of picture taking, of course, but mostly people just stand (or sit) and watch quietly. Plus, the crowds that gather for the top players’ practices are nothing compared to the ones that watch them during an actual match so I don’t think the presence of spectators bothers them. At least, that’s how it is in Cincy.

      It’s not until they step off the court that people converge. They really do need better security for that. You’d think they’d have learned their lesson for tournament security by now.

      • miri says:

        Yeah, I don’t think the public practice in and of itself is a problematic thing – it’s getting to and from the practice courts. Rafa appears to take it all in without a problem, but I can’t help but wonder about the extra time and stress. I’m probably projecting, however, as there’s no way I’d survive a crunch of people like that.

  8. Ana-Spain says:

    As you can see, Rafa is very natural .. in Spain the issue of security in this case we do not see as something dramatic. If you see the pictures he is always friendly and spontaneous .. is a very normal boy with no divismo. It is normal that people want to get closer to their idol. You can not always live with such fear. It should have some control so that things are not very problematic but not too much and that people are thinking that Rafael Nadal is inacesible. I know he likes being in touch with people. Rafa is a quiet man.

  9. gototennis says:

    Hey, Miri! I agree with you that this isn’t a good scene.

    1. Even if Rafa is okay with it, it’s dangerous for the kids and other fans who are involved.

    2. I also don’t get the autograph hunting thing and I think that it kind of dehumanizes the players – they just become a means to getting a signature.

    3. I think parents shouldn’t encourage their kids to be so pushy. We have enough pushy people out there in the world.

    4. I was there at Indian Wells and the tournament actually built a little pathway from the field to the practice courts the next day so the walk was a little easier. I was glad to see they didn’t overdo it with security, because going too much in that extreme is no fun either. I love the practice courts at IW because of the access they give fans!

    • miri says:

      Sounds like they’ve tried for a balanced approach with that pathway – I approve of balanced approaches. (Hey, it’s all about me, you know.)

      And I agree about the aggressive parents. I can’t blame the kiddos if they are just following the examples their parents set.

    • Ana-Spain says:

      Yes, I’m totally agree with you about the issue of parents and his kids in this events.