Bradley Beal hit the “send” button and had no idea what he was about to receive.
In the aftermath of the Nationals’ epic collapse in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Beal decided to give a celebratory shoutout to his hometown St. Louis Cardinals on his Twitter account, @RealDealBeal23. He wrote, “STL turnupppp !!!”
Within minutes, Beal realized that fans in Washington weren’t ready to hear from excited Cardinals fans after the Nationals’ disheartening 9-7 loss – especially when one of them represents the local professional basketball team. He got responses from fans asking for him to be traded and to shut up.
“I was hearing threats and everything, like, ‘Watch your back,’ “ Beal said on Saturday before getting his first start of the preseason against Cleveland. “People were like, ‘I’m not going to cheer for you.’ I was like, whatever. It was cool, though.”
Beal was openly rooting for the Cardinals before the series began and has worn the team’s cap to practice all week. He decided to send out a series of tweets to explain his position.
“People forget I’m from St. Louis ! Lol#STL,” Beal wrote. “It was a great comeback for my home team, am I wrong for cheering them on?”
He then explained, “Just because I cheer for my team doesn’t mean I don’t support the Nats.”
Beal admitted that he didn’t even watch the ninth inning of the game and only wrote the tweet when he heard about the final score.
“That’s what made it crazy. I guess that kind of made it worse,” Beal said. “I wasn’t even watching the game. Every time I stopped watching the game, they started [coming back]. They did it last year, and they came back and won. That’s how it is.”
Beal said he understands the frustrations of some of the fans.
“It was probably moreso the timing, but at the same time, it’s my city,” Beal said of St. Louis. “It’s not going to affect the way I play. I got to do something to redeem myself, I guess.”