You’re running down the court with a basketball fast break You go in for a lay-up and hear a racial slur from the opposing team’s fans. Your coach calls a timeout. You run over to the bench. You can’t hear a word of what the coach is saying because the opposing crowd is breathing down your neck, yelling in your ear.
You’re at a soccer game cheering on your Vikings. You hear a chant from the other team, “I believe that we speak English.”
What do these scenarios have in common? Sportsmanship of the players, fans, and the coaches.
The National Association of Intercollegiate’s banner reads” champions of character.” “Champions of character” mean the athletes, coaches, and the fans in the NAIA should have great character. The NAIA emphasizes the five core values that go beyond the field: Respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship.
Sportsmanship is a category that falls into every sport. It affects players by the way they play and the way they react to the coaches and to the fans. Bad sportsmanship should not be tolerated at any level of sports play. Athletes are taught at a young age to show good sportsmanship and to shake hands at the end of each game.
Each sport has fans and what they say and how they react reflects back on the sport and the school who they are cheering for. What is sportsmanship to you? Freshman Thania Segura replied, “Respecting the rival schools and playing according to the rules.”
Chase Burgess said sportsmanship is being respectful to the opposing team and not being a sore loser.
Missouri Valley College is part of the Heart of America Athletic conference in the NAIA. At the end of each sport season, teams get more pumped and so do the fans. We yell at the other team and the other team’s fans yells at ours. At some point, you have to draw the line for both sides, not just one side. Cheer on your team but be respectful at the same time.
Burgess said, “I think there should be restrictions on what happens at games but nothing too ridiculous.”
Let the fans be fans and, if not, kick all the rude and disrespectful fans out of the game.