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Saturday open thread: Do you approach athletes in public?

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If you saw your favorite Lions player in public, would you approach them?

NFL: International Series-Detroit Lions Heads Up Football Clinic Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, I watched Ezekiel Ansah’s live Instagram feed as he sat behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers home opener. It was interesting not only to see Ansah at his most relaxed, but to see him take in a baseball game, a sport he openly admitted he was very unfamiliar with. He tried to sing along with “Take Me out to the Ballgame,” a song he had never heard of, and was corrected when he called umpires refs, but he seemed to be genuinely enjoying himself, even if he was preoccupied with the Instagram feed.

However, about 20 minutes into the live streaming—Ansah’s full broadcast stretched from about the second inning all the way to the eighth—people in the crowd got wind of Ansah’s location. Ziggy wasn’t exactly trying to keep a low profile, though:

For the next hour or so, Ansah was bombarded by requests to autograph tickets, asked take selfies with strangers and had to listen to people exclaim, “I’m your biggest fan.”

To Ziggy’s credit, he fulfilled every single request with a smile on his face, while he patiently handed his phone to one of his friends sitting beside him, keeping the live feed going.

But the whole ordeal got me thinking: Would I approach a Detroit Lions player in public if I saw him? So today’s Question of the Day is:

Do you (or would you) approach famous athletes in public?

My answer: Probably not, though it depends on the context. If I encounter them in a large public gathering like a baseball game, I definitely would not. As I witnessed first hand on Friday, being asked over and over against can get pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to do something like watch a baseball game. I also would never interrupt a meal or a phone call or any situation in which the player looks busy.

However, if I were in a relaxed setting, like a bar, I would probably briefly go over to them, tell him I appreciate their work and leave it at that. I’m definitely not into the autograph or selfie thing.

Your turn.

Poll

What would you do if you saw a famous athlete in public?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Ask for a selfie
    (31 votes)
  • 5%
    Ask for an autograph
    (30 votes)
  • 26%
    Leave them alone
    (140 votes)
  • 61%
    Depends on the situation
    (322 votes)
523 votes total Vote Now