Are You Kidding Me? Again?

Okay, this is another of those posts which I’m not supposed to write, social media “experts” tell me I should stay on topic, which would be leadership. But I could make a case that this post IS about leadership although it could also expose me as politically incorrect to those who don’t know me. For those who do know me, well, they won’t be surprised at all. I’ve long thought we (both Americans and most of the rest of the world) have gone over the cliff with political correctness and now we have further proof that my thoughts are correct.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has sent an email to athletic directors with a list of “cheers” that have been deemed contrary to good sportsmanship.

Now I’m all for good sportsmanship. I think youth sports can teach kids a lot about life. It teaches them the importance of teamwork and it demonstrates that passion and commitment can lead to success. Perhaps most importantly, it teaches them that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. They learn that there are usually rewards for extra effort and that lack of effort leads directly to failure. 

Apparently the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has some other lessons in mind. I can’t imagine what those lessons are but I’m sure their intentions are good, no matter how misguided they are.

So what cheers have they decided to ban in the name of sportsmanship? Here’s the list from the email: 



“We can’t hear you”

“Air ball”

“You can’t do that”

“There’s a net there”

“Season’s over”

Now to be fair, “season’s over” is only banned during the playoffs of whatever sport you might be cheering for. 

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association stated in their email that these chants, when directed at the opposing teams and their students were meant to “taunt or disrespect.”

Ya think? My answer to that would be “so what.” 

If you’re a basketball player and you don’t want people yelling “air ball” at you then I’d suggest that you don’t throw up an air ball. I was a goalie on my high school hockey team (for a very short time) and I heard “sieve” yelled in my direction often (why it was a short time) and yet I somehow survived. I never figured they were supposed to respect me just because I was on the ice, I assumed that I needed to earn their respect by not letting them slap rubber past me all night. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if next we heard that beating the opposing team is the ultimate in disrespect so scores should no longer be kept and we’ll just give everyone a trophy for participating….. oh wait, never mind on that last point, I’m too late.

In my not so humble opinion, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. They are making babies, perhaps permanent babies, out of kids who will one day not have well-meaning adults protecting them from vile chants like “you can’t do that.” 

Parents who protect their kids from every consequence of life had better be prepared to live a long time because their kids will always need protecting. 

Can we just apply some common sense and let kids be kids. Punish them when required (and I understand that it often is) but don’t punish them for learning to live life. Don’t punish kids by over-protecting them, their peers and “former” friends will do a fine job of showing them what they can say and what they can’t. 

Why, I’ll bet they will learn right from wrong just like us old folks did.