Jayson Tatum is a native of St. Louis. He plays for the Boston Celtics. And despite two years in Boston, Tatum has retained his fandom of the St. Louis Blues.
When the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup Wednesday night, Tatum sent a tweet to his 413,000 followers stating “ST LOUIS FOREVER,” in the process quote-tweeting Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, another NBA player who hails from St. Louis.
The reactions in the replies to Tatum’s tweet were less than enthusiastic on the part of Boston fans. Several of them expressed wishes that the forward get traded to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a package for Anthony Davis, as has been rumored of late. Others defended Tatum for merely rooting for his hometown team.
If Tatum is, in fact, traded to the Pelicans, he’s unlikely to face such dilemmas in the future, since New Orleans does not have an NHL team.
Tatum had sent a pro-Blues tweet on May 21 — earlier in the playoffs — although that was prior to the Blues and Bruins playing each other in the Stanley Cup Finals, so Boston fans appeared less bothered.
It’s unclear what the ethics are for sports fans when it comes to rooting for the hometown team. After all, if Jayson Tatum were a native of Boston — and continued to support Boston sports teams while playing in another city — that would likely be appreciated and respected by Boston sports fans. And the idea that a player should change his fan allegiances each time he’s traded arguably goes against the idea of hardcore fandom itself.
Jayson Tatum's tweet after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final won't sit well with Bruins fans: https://t.co/Kfb1eMqzVl
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) June 13, 2019
However, Bryce Harper, who signed a 13-year free agent deal with the Philadelphia Phillies this past March, is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, who are a rival to the Philadelphia Eagles. This was, at times, an issue when Harper played for the Washington Nationals, although Harper did recently appear in a photograph with fans while wearing Eagles gear, per Bleeding Green Nation.
The difference? Harper signed for 13 years, while Tatum could be traded away from Boston any day now.
Jayson Tatum, who is only 21-years-old, was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Duke after Boston made a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers to trade down from the top overall pick. Tatum had a successful rookie season and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team at the end of the 2017-2018 season.