Jack Williams is a junior journalism major and writes “Sharp Around the Edges” for The Ball State Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The F-word tends to trigger a lot of emotions for anyone. If it’s said sarcastically, maybe a laugh. If it’s said in a hostile tone, maybe a punch in the face. Either way, there’s going to be some sort of reaction to those four letters.
In the dying seconds of a heated Indiana-Purdue men’s basketball game, Purdue center Matt Haarms tipped in the eventual game-winner for the Boilermakers. Haarms' four-finger victory would cause IU fans inside Assembly Hall to respond with three words. “
While fans from both sides showed displeasure at the chant, triggering an apology from Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass, I don’t see much reason for fans to be upset. While the statement is vulgar, it can be said to anyone in any context and stands as a testament to the censorship of chanting at sports events all over the world.
The comment was aggressive, that is true, but did not target the player’s sexuality, gender, nationally, religion or background in any way, shape or form. So what’s the big deal?
This isn’t the first time that fans have been displeased with a chant in this rivalry. Indiana fans have been up in arms about , which is even more tame than what was hollered on Tuesday.
Boilermaker head coach Matt Painter wasn’t bothered by the comment at all, saying to 1070 the Fan's Dan Dakich on Wednesday that he expects comments like that because this is a competitive and heated rivalry. The language is just part of the rivalry and what sports are.
Other schools don’t seem to have an issue with using words that may go above the PG rating. It’s normal for .” when they took down then No. 1 Tennessee last week and in regards to Kansas’ recruiting investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Chants are supposed to be full of anger, agitation and gloating. It’s part of the game.
Of course there’s a place where the line needs to be drawn, such as the. That is directly attacking a player about something they cannot control.
In the end, yes, I agree that the usage of the F-word was aggressive, but it shouldn’t be so blown out of proportion, to the point where people get so upset the athletic director needs to apologize. It’s a chant. It’s supposed to make people mad and that’s exactly what it did.
This is a big part of the game. Chanting shows the heart, passion and pride of fans feel toward their team. If we begin to censor any word that’s worse than “darn” or “crap,” we are taking away an aspect of the game experience. If we continue down this road, games will be dead silent and we’ll be handing out more participation trophies.