Just Press Pause: Fortnite and The Negatives In The Sports World

Eric Urbanowicz
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Since its initial release in 2017, the video game Fortnite has taken over the world by storm. From their memorable victory celebrations to somehow having more merchandise than Disney’s Frozen, the video game phenomena has taken over the world. It’s even gotten to the point that it’s branched into the sports world. While its touchdown celebrations and even fan interaction while playing online isn’t a bad thing, the stories that have come from it have been entertaining yet disruptive in clubhouses and locker rooms.

One of the biggest stories last year involved the Boston Red Sox. Starting pitcher, David Price missed a start against the rival New York Yankees because mild carpel tunnel syndrome. Following the news, one of the biggest question marks came as the most popular down time activity was, Fortnite. While manager Alex Cora would try to downplay it, speculation of the affects of long hours playing it came up. After cutting down on it, Price would pick up the slack and it lead to a huge postseason run and eventual championship.

Another story out of baseball came when the Milwaukee Brewers allowed their players to play the game on the jumbotron prior to the first pitch. While it made for a good Instagram video and great advertising, one can’t help but wonder if it’s the best idea. The Brewers ended losing that night to the Cleveland Indians, 6 to 2.

The Ontario Hockey League has flat out told their players to stop talking about the game. A team employee has even revealed that league had told some players have been advised to erase Fortnite references from their social media accounts. Even the National Hockey League, has taken notice. Some teams have considered the game as a distraction to its players.

The recent story came this week when it was reported that former Philadelphia Phillies and current Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana took a baseball bat to a television because of the game. Reportedly, during a game last year against the Atlanta Braves,Santana walked down to the clubhouse and saw players staring at the television playing Fortnite. This infuriated him enough that he grabbed a baseball bat and smashed the television.

While the game may be harmless fun for most, Fortnite’s negative effects are noticeable. While you can’t stop the players from playing the game, some kind of guidelines may need to be set. The fad could die out similar to that of Overwatch but with how often new stuff gets put out, that could be a pipe dream. Even if the Fortnite hype dies down, a new game, Apex Legends seems poised to take it’s place. Whatever the outcome may be, the stories will at least be humorous.

Eric Urbanowicz


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