People seem to conflate valve and the tf2 developers, they are not the same. Multiple ex-employees have told how they've had a horrible experience working at Valve, and that everyone is forced to play internal politics. Everyone wants to work on the new stuff and old IPs are left to rot. The skeleton crew working on TF2 is committing career suicide only because they care deeply about improving the game. They have limitations too. They can't just beg money from gaben for "TF2 majors" without showing results.
The casual and competitive side of TF2 are vastly different, unlike any other esport. From the outside, everyone looks at it as a hat simulator. You need to bridge the gap between the two gamemodes for any chance of success. I don't think what b4nny and co. are doing is the right way, but the community needs to be a bit more flexible too, and they have shown time and time again that they refuse to budge.
You guys could've unbanned relatively inoffensive weapons in pugs, exploited the shit out of them and generated incredibly valuable feedback. We saw Valve implement sensible changes in Jungle Inferno and Blue Moon updates from your feedback, they aren't incompetent. But even after the changes it took so long for anyone to actually try out the rebalanced weapons. There's invite players who don't even know about balance changes.
Even now, no one is advocating for straight up unbanning bonk,etc. Teams are going to try the new whitelist in scrims, you are welcome to exploit them and find out those edge cases. If it's broken it won't be in the next season.
Side note, I've seen the same thing with maps. No one wants to even give new maps a chance, they just see a couple big flaws in early builds and dismiss their potential. The only time they get played is when there's money on the line.