Wisconsin Bans High School Chants Like ‘Airball’ And ‘Scoreboard!’, Prompting One Athlete To Tell WIAA To ‘Eat Shit’
This is totally true. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, which rides herd over high school sports in the state, has declared that all negative chants at sporting events are hereby banned, lest someone's feelings be hurt.
Reaction has not been kind. The photo above is from Ashwaubenon High School, from the town of the same name, protesting the new rule. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as you'll see below.
Excerpt from the WIAA directive:
Any action directed at opposing teams or their spectators with the intent to taunt, disrespect, distract or enticve an unsporting behavior in a response is not acceptable sportsmanship. Student groups, school administrators and even managers should take immediate steps to correct this unsporting behavior.
Not sure about Wisconsin, but the opportunity to chant creative put-downs was the only reason I attended high school events ... and that included school plays and student assemblies.
Some specific examples of unsporting behavior of student groups including chants directed at opposing participants and/or fans. Among the chants at recent high school sporting events are "You can't do that," "Fundamentals," "Airball," "You can't do that," "Sieve," "We can't hear you," the "Scoreboard" cheer, and "Season's over" during tournament series.
At least one student athlete, Hilbert High School basketball player April Gehl, wasn't afraid to give her opinion on the new restrictions:
EAT SHIT WIAA pic.twitter.com/hqH8TH3rgm
— April Gehl (@AprilGehl24) January 4, 2016
Gehl was promptly suspended for five games when the WIAA got wind of her tweet. But in true badass fashion, she's left it up on her account.
And now Gehl has earned a host of supporters, many of whom see this as a free speech issue.
— Derek Olson (@DerekOlson23) January 10, 2016
— LJ Wolcanski (@lwolcanski) January 10, 2016
@AprilGehl24 you're an American hero
— TV Is Great (@tvisgreat) January 12, 2016
— Ridgeline61 (@ridgeline61) January 13, 2016
@AprilGehl24 100% support. Thank you for standing up to this moronic organization and their spineless lackies at your school administration.
— Bill Brown (@RWBill) January 12, 2016
And the story gets even more absurd, as the WIAA tries to sort through what's offensive and what isn't.
The Misconception of Chanting "USA" pic.twitter.com/nx0whPQQTc
— WIAA (@wiaawi) January 13, 2016
The email that was sent out from the WIAA, to all WIAA membership—Superintendents, Principals, Athletic Directors. pic.twitter.com/540Vakv2fQ
— WIAA (@wiaawi) January 13, 2016
During my coaching days at Serra High in San Mateo, CA, our annual home varsity basketball game vs. rival St. Ignatius of San Francisco was called The Jungle Game. Serra students would decorate the gym with palm fronds, signs, vines, etc. One year St. Ignatius administrators complained, saying that the decorations promoted "an atmosphere of intimidation."
Serra administration caved, and a compromise was reached: the schools negotiated the number of palm fronds that could be displayed, cutting the number by two-thirds. I swear that this is true. I believe that Tom Brady was attending Serra at the time, and he can confirm.
WIAA acceptable chant: "We note your attempt did not reach the rim, but only to alert the clock operator that a reset is unnecessary."
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) January 12, 2016
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