Basketball games can be loud, hard-fought and aggravating, but everyone’s level of enjoyment should never suffer because of a negative comment.
During the ASC women’s game at Plachy Hall on Saturday, an ASC Grizz Krew member shouted an obscene comment to a member of the opposing team. Such insults are meant to inflict psychological pain. Basketball, like any form of competition, requires a great amount of physical and emotional endurance.
Another enduring spirit of any athlete is respect. Whenever another team outperforms you, you owe them respect. Some men might conceive the idea of respect as unmanly, but it is fundamental to basketball (some fouls even exist for the sole purpose of punishing unsportsmanlike conduct).
This sort of outburst has happened before at several home games this year. Many times a Krew member has been involved. Typically, the Grizz Krew fans will sit behind or to the right of the cheerleaders. Thus, several community members have been put off by this behavior and chose to sit elsewhere.
The Bill of Rights may allow freedom of speech, but every individual also deserves to be protected from ‘hate-speech.’ Respect, regardless of any fan’s disdain for the opposing team, is a right. Respect creates the freedom to be yourself and to be free from disrespect. Debate and disagreement are perfectly acceptable forms of discourse, but insults derail any intelligible conversation.
Before most men’s basketball games an athlete, occasionally a Krew member, reads a mission statement espousing sportsmanlike conduct. Therefore, as an extension of the athletic program and the student body, Grizz Krew members are likely aware of the concept of sportsmanship.
Adams State is built on a foundation fostering personal growth and a sense of community. There is no more room for hatred in the world. Hatred, no matter how innocent it may seem, only divides those inflicting and receiving it.
I don’t doubt the above insult will upset many members of the campus and surrounding community. Those responsible may have plenty of insults for me. I think people should know about the hypocritical behavior of several Grizz Krew members. Readers–alums, coaches, students and anyone who has ever been an athlete or spectator–should be outraged.. The Grizz Krew t-shirts feature the slogan, “Players Play-Tough, Players Win.” This saying doesn’t require any hate-speech. Anyone who possibly thinks insults and hate can represent an entire college should think twice.
Speaking on the tragedy last month in Tucson, President Obama said:
“Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
– Jesse Russell