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The Guardian doesn't find humor in Jeff Francoeur prank, feels it mocks the disabled

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J. Meric

When the Padres AAA team, the El Paso Chihuahuas pranked Jeff Francoeur convincing him that his teammate Jorge Reyes was deaf, I sensed it was only a matter of time before there was a backlash from the politically correct crowd.

"On Jeff Ears"


The baseball team, the fake deaf pitcher, and the 'idiot' who defended him: not funny | Lilit Marcus | theguardian.com

They've all succumbed to the narrative of "co-workers hilariously prank the new guy", and ignored the more accurate version: "coworkers spend a month treating the new guy like absolute shit while also making fun of disabled people"

I disagree with Marcus's "more accurate version". The team wasn't making fun of disabled people. They were making fun of Jeff Francoeur who is not disabled, unless you consider gullibility an impairment.

So why, exactly, is Francoeur being called an idiot? Because he tried to be compassionate to a colleague, or because he respected someone for his achievements beyond a supposed disability?

It's clear that Marcus doesn't understand why the prank is funny to some. She questions why Francoeur is being called an idiot. Is it because he is so compassionate toward a deaf teammate? The answer is no. It's because his teammate is obviously not deaf and is terrible at hiding the fact that he's not deaf and yet Francoeur is still oblivious.

I'd be on Marcus's side if the team was mocking deaf people, but I don't see that as the case here. I think one of the commenters, Greenlake, sums it up pretty neatly.

But the team aren't making fun of deaf people, they're laughing at Francoeur's gullibility.

The whole point of the joke is that the elaborate gestures and way they talked to Reyes should have tipped Francoeur off that he wasn't really deaf, but he was too stupid to catch on.

Then Greenlake goes off the rails.

Now, in all honesty, I don't like pranks and never find them funny. I think this was a case of bullying, to be honest, and the fact that Francoeur has taken it with such good grace shows there is exactly one classy guy on the team and the rest are knob heads.

The reason why Francoeur takes the prank and the teasing so well is because they're all friends. They work, travel, eat and play together for most of the year. From my perspective this wasn't an indoctrination, hazing or bullying issue at all.

But, that said, the joke was on Francoeur, not the deaf.

Maybe, I'm off base though. Let me know.