Everyone’s got something to say about Kawhi Leonard’s introverted nature

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It would be an understatement to say that everyone in the vicinity of Toronto have become Kawhi Leonard’s biggest fans. 

In the last few weeks alone, the newly-acquired Raptor has become one of the world’s biggest sensations. Leonard is certainly very well known for his athletic talents (which cannot be overstated); but recently, he has become famous for his introverted nature and has been turned into a meme due to  his evident discomfort in the spotlight. 

Athletes of all backgrounds and levels of success are no strangers to media attention, but the way that both television and online media focus on Leonard’s personality really do set him apart – and maybe not rightfully so. 

Between his uncomfortable post-game interview chuckle to his absence on mainstream social media platforms, and his reservation when it comes to discussing personal opinions, it’s clear that Kawhi Leonard is not only a private person, but an introverted individual as well. 

For that reason, I have a lot of respect for him – his teammates do too. 

But what I don’t understand is why, to the rest of the world, his perfectly normal personality is such a big deal.

Introverts are often portrayed in ways that make them seem cold, calculated, and anything but personable, and the choice of language used to discuss Kawhi online fits that bill to a T. 

Having been active on Twitter during the championship period, I got to witness this commentary firsthand: dozens of tweets called him “awkward,” a “machine,” an “assassin,” “notoriously quiet,” and even “emotionless,” which, quite frankly, made me want to chuck my phone across the room.  

Although these terms are meant in the context of compliments towards his athleticism, the atmosphere for discussion they create takes the life out of the being. 

Calling someone a machine completely disregards all other aspects of their personality and purpose. 

Calling someone an assassin makes them seem cold, even evil. Calling someone awkward for their quietness can be more damaging than you might think, too. 

What Toronto is doing currently, though, especially after the Raptors’ big win, is not only being curious about his personality, but his every move.

People need to accept that a person’s private life is their own – not something for you to take photos of (without permission) and post on your personal social profiles.

Posts upon posts are spamming feeds about Kawhi being spotted in Toronto at restaurants with his friends, school registration with his daughter, and so on, to the point where Toronto’s Mayor, John Tory, had to speak publicly (with Superfan by his side) to tell Toronto to leave Leonard alone. 

It should be clear now more than ever, especially when political figures felt the need to become involved, that people need to accept that a person’s private life is their own – not something for you to take photos of (without permission) and post on your personal social profiles.

Since the world is busy asking question after question about Leonard, concerning his past, present, and future (which is hopefully in Toronto), I think it’s time we take a step back and ask ourselves if it is absolutely necessary for us to stick our noses into every aspect of his life.

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