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Don't be stupid this year

By Anthony Rhoads

The high school sports season is upon us once again and it should be another interesting year in Clayton and Henry counties.

I'm looking forward to an exciting year of local high school sports but there's one thing I am not looking forward to n the increasingly appalling behavior at games.

It's one thing to be passionate about your team but why do folks seem to think that just because you're at a sporting event, that gives you the right to curse like a sailor, make insulting comments at coaches, teams, officials and other fans and to generally act like a moron?

One of the things that irritates me most is the bad language.

It's increasingly getting worse year after year and what is really sad is that it seems like we are becoming more accepting of it. At one time, if a kid used bad language or made obscene gestures, school officials would deal with him and then his parents would deal with him.

There are instances where kids have used filthy language at events but when school officials get on them, the parents get mad at the officials and say stuff like "you can't tell my kid what to do."

I also don't like it when coaches curse a blue streak, dropping the ?f-bomb' and other profanities in their tirades at officials or players.

Coaches should be held to a standard and should be examples of proper behavior. If coaches go on profanity-laced tirades, what kind of example does that show to the kids? I don't think I am prudish but it's just not right for a coach to spew out profanity at players and officials.

Another thing that bugs me about sports is that fans think they have a right to threaten or personally degrade officials.

Do fans have a right to question calls or to take part in good-natured ribbing of officials? By all means.

How many times have we all heard comments like ?get some glasses ref'? Those kinds of comments are a part of the game but some comments go way over the line.

Threatening to beat up officials is going too far. If you want to get technical about it, it's a crime for a fan to threaten an official and that official would have every right to file charges against a fan who threatens violence.

Making fun of an official's race, ethnicity or personal appearance is going too far.

Last year, an official of Hispanic descent was hammered with comments from fans during a basketball game and it was disgusting. Another referee was hounded because he was overweight.

If officials are making bad calls, then address that and criticize their performance but don't make fun of a person's ethnic background or appearance.

But I guess some fans are just too stupid and classless to act decently.

A sports event, especially at the high school level, should be a time when folks should be able to get together and have some fun.

Go ahead and root for your team and be passionate about it but it's really dumb to curse, to make threats and to fight over it.

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for the Daily and his columns appear on Wednesdays. He can be reached at arhoads@news-daily.com .