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POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN SPORTS

According to allenbwest.com, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in its quest to award everyone a participation trophy and prevent anyone from ever seeing or hearing anything they may find hurtful, has banned high school students from changing certain words and phrases at basketball games.

That would include such mean, hurtful, offensive terms like “Air Ball.” Other offensive words/phrases include: Fundamentals, Sieve, We can’t hear you, You can’t do that, There’s a net there, Scoreboard, Season’s over. It looks like Political Correctness has now invaded amateur sports.

I’m not totally surprised by this display of political correctness. As a graduate of the University of Alabama and the owner/administrator of an Alabama sports website, I follow college sports. By the way, my football team is number one. When I think back to my youth and compare those days with today, the degree of political correctness that we now practice is astounding.

In college football, when a player scores a touchdown, he must simply hand the ball to the referee and make no swaggering gestures of any kind. I can see why throwing the ball up in the stands is not allowed. Team managers would have to try to get the ball back and the chances of that are slim. There are only so many balls available at a game. But putting the ball on the turf and spinning it? To me that’s nothing, but the politically correct crowd considers it taunting and subject to a penalty. High stepping into the end zone is also considered taunting and subject to a penalty. When a player out runs everyone and decides to slow down and walk into the end zone can also draw a penalty. For some of these penalties, 15 yards is assessed on the kick off. Furthermore, a new ruling that has been in place for two years now, allows the referee to nullify the score if he deems excessive taunting. Thankfully, we’ve seen very little of that.

Personally, I think that simply handing the all to the referee after scoring a touchdown is the classy thing to do. But that should be up to the coaching staff to enforce. And for goodness sake, don’t slow down or high step on your way to the end zone, run as fast as you can. Don’t slow down until you’re in. Once again, that should be left up to the coaching staff to enforce, not the NCAA.

Since the late seventies/early eighties, the University of Alabama has a cheer called “Rammer Jammer.” It was played by the band and cheered by the students and fans before and after games. At one point, the athletic administration, along with the university administration banned the cheer. Well, the students were doing it anyway without the band. “Rammer Jammer” eventually was re-instated, but it was only to be played at the end of games. Of course, it’s only played when we win, which is pretty much all the time. Our opponents hate it, but I don’t care. This is major college football, not the ballet.

Rammer Jammer

Alabama student section does Rammer Jammer cheer at championship game.

In basketball, the “air ball” chant has been going on forever at all levels of basketball competition. If hearing “air ball, air ball” by opposing students and fans upsets you, perhaps you had better give up going to sporting events all together.

If “Rammer Jammer,” as played by the University of Alabama Band and chanted by the fans and students intimidates you to the point of psychologically breaking down, I would suggest you give up football. Perhaps you should give up your football tickets for tickets to the ballet and/or the symphony.

The political correctness movement has been taking place for quite some time, Barak Obama did not invent it. The far left did, though. However, Obama has indicated that football is a much too violent sport. Football is violent and players can and do get hurt, sometimes catastrophically. There should be penalties for certain acts such as grabbing a face mask, hitting out of bounds, piling on, targeting, etc. Players should not be allowed to use foul language or attempt to start fights. And there are.

In one of the Republican presidential debates, candidate Dr. Ben Carson indicated that political correctness was ruining our nation. I agree with him because everything that is wrong with our nation today can be traced back to some form of political correctness that was put in place by the left so as not to hurt someone’s feelings.

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