Butt Slapping in Sports, What’s Up with That?
I was watching baseball this weekend when I asked my dad why on earth do athletes slap each other's butts? Why is a thing? No other profession do you have people giving you a congratulatory pat on the behind. They even mock this idea in Friends when Chandler's boss slaps Chandler's derriere, which made him uncomfortable.
If you did this in any other job other than sports, you would be headed down to the HR department in a second. I had to do some research on this. When did the butt slapping start? Why do athletes do it? Is it weird or is it just me?
MetalFloss kind of answered my first question, "Unfortunately, the first athlete to playfully slap a teammate on the butt didn’t record his reasoning for history." So, that was less than helpful. I wasn't exactly expecting an actual answer, but it would have been nice.
Boston Globe had an interesting article on this hot button issue by interviewing athletes. They spoke with former Red Sox player Craig Breslow who told them, "I would say maybe the question shouldn't be why do ballplayers do it. I would say the question should be, why don't stockbrokers do it?"
Most of the athletes they interviewed were not helpful. Their answers were along the lines of we do it because we just do. See, not helpful. However, Boston Bruins player Dennis Seidenberg told the Globe, "On the way out and on the way by, it's easiest to reach them there. It's the height of the hand. It sounds a little creepy but that's just how we do it."
Now that makes sense...kind of.
After countless hours of research, none of my questions were answered. No one know why, how, when, or who started the trend and athletes don't have a great answer as to why they continue to other than they just do...