Sporting events are often home to some of the most vile, mean and nasty comments in all of society. Fans rarely use a filter when projecting their disgust toward referees, players and coaches.
It appears if the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has gone a bit overboard with trying to make sure the decorum at their events is as pleasant as possible.
You see, Hilbert High School basketball player April Gehl received a five-game suspension for a profane tweet in which she criticized the WIAA for the new guidelines, and now the list of banned words and phrases has been brought to the attention of the public.
No longer are fans are allowed to chant, yell or scream the following:
— “Season’s over”
— “There’s a net there”
— “We can’t hear you”
— “You can’t do that”
That is an incredibly tame list. We understand wanting to ban students from using obscene or vulgar language, but banning a chant like “we can’t hear you,” one intended to fire up both student sections, is well, stupid.
The WIAA sent an email in December addressing the concerns of chants and cheers, which is what prompted Hilbert’s tweet.
“As we reviewed the fall tournaments and the sportsmanship evaluations and observations, we want to address concerns with a noticeable increase in the amount of chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents’ supporters that are clearly intended to taunt or disrespect.
“Not wanting to restrict creativity or enjoyment, an enthusiastic and boisterous display of support for a school’s team is welcomed and encouraged at interscholastic events when directed in a positive manner. However, any action directed at opposing teams or their spectators with the intent to taunt, disrespect, distract or entice an unsporting behavior in response in not acceptable sportsmanship. Student groups, school administrators and event managers should take immediate steps to correct this unsporting behavior.”
The WIAA has gone to extreme measures to make sure the athletic arenas and fields are as clean and positive as possible, yet the clearly forgot to ban the “overrated” chant, one of the most obnoxious and misused chants in all of sports.
Here’s one for you, WIAA: