It comes with the territory, but Sonicsgate receives plenty of hate for their message. Whether it’s Oklahoma City Thunder fans upset by Seattle fans rooting against their team or feel their city is being unfairly attacked, Sonicsgate takes plenty of heat. But it’s not about the fans, nor do the producers from Sonicsgate fault the fans. It’s all about awareness and spreading the message about what happened in Seattle.
“We’ve definitely received a fair amount of hate. I think they feel kind of attacked by us,” Jason Reid said. “We’re not there to attack them. We’ve there to create awareness. It has nothing to do with OKC fans. We’ve never attacked OKC fans in any interviews and press.”
But Reid and the rest of the gang have a hard time balancing rooting against Clay Bennett and the Thunder and rooting for some of their favorite players. Kevin Durant was drafted by Seattle and has been a favorite of Reid, along with Nate Robinson, a Seattle native whose trade to Oklahoma City left many in the Northwest reeling. In the end, the hard feelings left behind by Bennett win out, though it's confusing in some ways.
"People assumed we're there to root for OKC because they were us. We really don't want them to succeed because it was owned by Clay Bennett," Reid said before elaborating on the quandary. "We can cheer for Nate Robinson. We can cheer for [Nick] Collison. We can cheer for Kevin Durant. It doesn't mean we're going to root for their team. We were there and we were rooting for Denver. I think the players understand that."
It’s become a rivalry, of sorts, even though Seattle doesn’t have an NBA team. It’s not your typical rivalry, but Seattle fans are rooting against the Thunder and the success of their former franchise. And if Seattle gets a team, a pre-made rivalry is already in place to go along with the historical rivalries the Sonics had.
“We root against their teams, like Boston and NY fans hate each other. Rival cities don’t like each others. People in Seattle are pretty clearly rooting against the success of their former franchise.”
And what if Seattle is given another NBA team? Seattle fans will be in the same position as Oklahoma City fans are now, a fact not lost on Reid or the Sonicsgate producers.
“We’ve always said we don’t fault them for rooting for the team,” Reid said while discussing Oklahoma City fans. “We’re happy they have a team and can root for them and are successful. If we have a team taken from another city, you better bet we’re going to root for them.”
As the hate keeps coming, Reid and the Sonicsgate crew keeps pushing forward. The movement and public appearances will continue until the goal is reached and an NBA team is back in Seattle. But it’s become a fan-rivalry as Oklahoma City fans and Seattle fans battle it out in the stands with some good-natured — albeit heated, at times — ribbing.
“We ran into quite a few OKC fans. Adam [Brown] was sitting next to two OKC fans. We boo each other. It’s fans against fans. They knew we were there to not support their team,” Reid said when talking about the trip to Denver. "The popular perspective is “give it up. It’s been three years.” We will not go away and stop showing up until the wrongs have been righted by giving us a team back."
We’ll be back throughout the day with more from Reid. We discussed his feeling about the Thunder, how players felt about those crazy, green and gold wearing fans and what message the group is trying to get across. Stay with this StoryStream for more of the interview and head over to the Sonicsgate website to watch the documentary for free