CLEVELAND — After the conclusion of the Browns’ winless season, thousands of fans mobilized to show their displeasure with the team through a “perfect season parade.”
The parade, which many categorized as a protest, stirred up controversy on social media, as many fans were upset that it celebrated a terrible season and that it would embarrass the city even more. Supporters of the parade hoped billionaire Jimmy Haslam would see the paraders and be more motivated to improve the team, and it worked.
Haslam, in a statement made earlier this week, said he took notice of the parade.
“Candidly, I saw the parade, and I now realize the fans are mad. I’m now going to try really really hard to fix the team,” he wrote.
Haslam admitted that he didn’t realize the fans were mad, but now that he does, things are gonna change.
“I would say for sure the few thousand fans parading around the stadium really made the difference.”
This represented a huge victory for parade advocates who hoped to draw Haslam’s attention. Now the precedent has been set; in order to turn your favorite sports franchise around, throwing a parade will definitely influence your billionaire owner.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert told reporters that looking back on it, he doesn’t understand why over a million fans of his team protested around Cleveland just days after winning the 2016 NBA Finals, but he vowed to do whatever it takes to make sure everyone is satisfied in the future.