Fans in the student section at USC in a USC vs BYU game chanted the following:

&^%$ THE MORMONS

There are so many ways I could go with this…(side note: USC has at least two players who are Mormons)

hmmm…let’s see….

should we discuss…

  1. USC has an acceptance rate of 16.1, making it one of the harder universities to be accepted to, and given an “elite” status. Is this the sort of behavior we can expect from our “best” and “brightest”?
  2. As it was only a handful of students chanting, can we excuse it because it’s not the majority?
  3. Is this a freedom of speech case? Does USC have the right to cheer anything they want?
  4. Is an apology from the sports department good enough?
  5. Is this just a case of kids being kids and getting caught up in the excitement of the game?
  6. Should students who attended game be required to take a class about religious intolerance?
  7. Should the whole school be required to take classes on religious intolerance?
  8. Replace the word Mormon with another word (don’t be cute and say Nazi’s). Let’s try Black or Muslim or Asian. Are you equally outraged, more outraged or less outraged.
  9. If you’re not equally outraged, ask yourself why not.
  10. Should signs about religious intolerance be posted around campus? Will a student read the sign and say gee whiz I guess I should be nicer to people of all religions?
  11. Should USC be penalized for the behavior of its fans/students?
  12. How easy is it to get caught up in the herd mentality?
  13. Do you think the students who chanted this regret their behavior and will never do it again?
  14. Do you think certain groups have become “acceptable” targets?
  15. If this game hadn’t been nationally televised, would any news outlet have reported it?
  16. Is it all OK because it’s just words and no one was hurt?
  17. Should every student at USC be penalized, even ones who don’t have season tickets or where not even in California for the game?
  18. My daughter thinks this is not a big deal. She thinks that it’s just a college rivalry and no one meant any harm. She said she would have no issue if an opposing team chanted “&^%$ the Jesuits” at her University. She thinks because it was used at a sporting event it’s OK. (ask me if I’ve paid next semesters tuition yet…)

This post was written on November 30. Coincidentally, my page a day calendar had the following message:

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Haile Selassie

Pick anything you want to explore. I’m listening.

79 thoughts on “USC vs BYU

      1. That’s what my daughter said. I said if they said $&#@ BYU I would have said yeah…it’s football. But it’s the use of a religion that got me going

        Liked by 3 people

      1. And USC is a school that protests everything…you can think about it from that aspect…do they only protest what plays to the media and certain sentiments?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The bigger problem is that no one has heard this story. Why wasn’t more attention paid to this in the news? Does the news media think this is acceptable behavior?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Too busy reporting on forcing egregious abortion restrictions on women, 15-year olds shooting in a school and killing 4, the acquittal of a 17-year old vigilante who killed 3? Maybe it’s just tough to fit it all in???! 😥😥😥

        Like

      1. IMO….totally. Words start the whole ball rolling. Wars and battles start out as one person saying something bad. Words are always the catalyst. Very few people pick up a weapon and begin using it without some prior provocation. There’s always a back story. Unless someone is a socio or psycho path and that’s a whole different ball game. Or has an addiction issue, but I’m betting the addiction issue started with words

        Liked by 4 people

  1. Why is yelling “F*#k anything” at a sporting event acceptable? People bring kids, etc. I’m no prude and swear like a sailor at times. However, I also believe that profanity can be a form or violence. I learned that when I volunteered at a prison program…. I have been to college football games where the fans(not students — middle aged adults) are behaving horribly. That’s not acceptable at all. Just enjoying the f#*king game and behave. 😠😉😁

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  2. Interesting topic, there are many aspects to it. Deep down this is a case of kids being kids spreading their wings and all that. In reality, it is much deeper. If the school was the American Jewish University (LA) and they were chanting F the Jews…. There would be an outcry. If the school was Georgetown and they were chanting F the Catholics, no one would care. The point is, there is a double standard. Not just in religions, in many things. Their actions were based on their upbringing and ignorance and lack of empathy. This leads ultimately to the issue of diversity and inclusiveness. As a Liberal Arts school, USC should have mandatory diversity classes including acceptance of others, not exclusion. Ultimately, you can say those students are bullies and the school should deal with it as is. I’m sure they have a student behavior pledge that says no bullying. Which is just a document to protect the school from bad student behavior.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s just it…there are all sorts of ways to look at it, which is why I gave you my list of the different variants. Which do we focus on or exclude? And obviously your GU point is dead on accurate…😉

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      1. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go. Totally correct, where do we start. I feel we have to start at the youngest generation- toddlers. Tolerance, acceptance, diversity are really trendy buz words. Hopefully over time they become reality.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. To your daughter’s point, they were having fun, probably giggling, thinking they breaking the “rules” and getting away with it. There is no real malice involved – all in good fun and camaraderie. Another scenario, there are a group of kids encircling a loner shouting names, pushing, dumping the contents of their backpack. They intend to inflict pain and hurt feelings. If the chants at the game are perceived as ok, how hard is it to make the leap to the group of kids encircling the loner. That is worry and the answer to your daughter.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s pretty much what I said to her. Once you accept one questionable behavior it’s easier to go to the next. Like the adage “it’s all fun and games until somebody…” some will understand the intrinsic difference, others won’t. Which is where the problem starts. Then, the person who is continually taunted. What happens then?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Right? Like, when I had this conversation with my daughter and I said really…*&&# the jesuits is ok in your book? Taking down a religion or members of?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is totally unacceptable. But how does a school the size of USC go about policing such things? I would assume there is a student code of conduct somewhere. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The only thing that I would add is to those who are dismissing this as “just a sports” thing or “just a kids-caught-in-the-moment” thing or “there are so many other worse issues to focus on” thing… perhaps it’s time to stop making excuses for things. Excusing bad, irresponsible behavior and words as acceptable based on arbitrary personal standards of right and wrong opens the door to more abuse. Marginalization and hate start small. One voice of acceptance is all it needs to thrive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Because we live in a world where the only way to feel better about yourself is by putting someone else down. We excuse bad behavior if the bad behavior is against easy targets.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Those few bad apples were possibly made rotten by their parent bad apples. Or It could be they run or hang with a batch of rotten apples. Or both. These are not excuses but two possible explanations that may have caused these students to react this way. Either way that is not an appropriate way to act. And there should be consequences to rotten actions.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I think this is awful. Since my husband passed away, my son is away at college, and I no longer have cable I don’t pay attention to sports so much and hadn’t heard about this incident.
    I attended Catholic schools K-12—there was always some low level vitriol aimed at our sports teams that were successful—heard some of this junk even after I graduated when I still lived in my hometown.
    Even though I am no longer a practicing Catholic I think in the “public square” it is important to treat others with respect. I have my differences with some of the religious messages I received as a kid–but there is a time and a place to discuss those.
    I live in a university town that is part of the Big Ten conference—so our school occasionally plays the University of Michigan which is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I know this has been a thing for a while, but not sure how prevalent it is. When playing Michigan some fans from opposing teams will wear “Ann Arbor is a whore” tshirts. Just looked it up and you can still buy the tshirts online. So mortifying and juvenile.
    I enjoy sports occasionally–but don’t have much tolerance for ugly behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just wonder why the news media didn’t pay more attention to this. BYU stated that this incident wouldn’t interfere with the relationship between the two teams…is that turning the other cheek and forgiving, or is because BYU has the superior team this year? I don’t have a problem with rivalries. I have problems with stupid behavior

      Liked by 1 person

  7. An interesting topic LA. I don’t often comment but you certainly provide fodder to mull over throughout my day. I’ll just add that despite having grown up in a sports-centric household I no longer give a rats. I don’t watch any sports at all, including the Olympics, as I dislike so much of the behaviour. I’m told its part and parcel of “getting old”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I watch the Mets, baseball, and that’s more because it’s a happy memory of me and my dad that I’ve passed onto my daughter. But as for other sports…not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I see stuff like this and it just makes me ill that hate of any kind has been so normalized. Maybe the intent behind it wasn’t based from hate, but that makes it all the more disturbing that those students thought it was okay as the words absolutely are hateful. It’s no different than someone tossing out the concept of something being gay as an insult even if they aren’t homophobic. I honestly don’t know what should be done in this situation, but having zero repercussions for those actions will only embolden others.

    I’ve always believed that the culture around most sports and fans runs deeply in those toxic behaviors where it is okay to say those and other, much uglier, things. That is because of that whole “boys will be boys” kind of mindset that says certain things are okay because that is just how they are and you should accept that bad behavior. In this case it is “they are just passionate fans supporting their teams” so it is okay to chant what in so many other circumstances would absolutely not be okay. Until you see more consequences for these bad, hateful behaviors, they will just continue.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m with you. I think it is shameful. I am reminded of something that Brandon Crawford’s wife posted about their children (small, maybe 8 oldest) being in the stands at a Giants/Dodgers game and hearing the crowd yell “Crawford stinks” or “Crawford is a bum” or whatever the chant was at the time and the kids being very upset at hearing their father being called names. Mrs. Crawford tried to explain to the kids that it was just “a rivalry” but also to say that it is never okay to say hurtful things about people. You can cheer for your team without being hurtful. You never know who is going to be listening to the chants.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think tolerance of any bullying type behavior is a silent enabler, it says this behavior is okay, and empowers or implies acceptance of this sort of thing. We all know how tolerance, silence, looking the other way allows for the victimization of the un-empowered. The same thing happens in families, corporations, universities, countries. I say the university reinstate it’s stand on this sort of conduct. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your daughter’s thoughts are the problem… NOT HER specifically, but YOUNG PEOPLE. We used to have a code of conduct, good sportsmanship, etc. We have allowed this kind of hatred to pass by saying what your daughter said, “it’s no big deal.” Then on the other hand, we have kids committing suicide, because they are bullied. Our world is full of hate, and we need to turn this around. There has to be rules/regulations and consequences to bad behavior. Look at Northwestern University, they are still chanting “Defund the Police.” Do that and WHO will protect the students/teachers, etc from harm on campus. Ah…. sad to hear this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People take sides. And young people do push the agenda forward, but older people buy into it because they don’t want to be out of touch. Until we stop taking sides and declaring that one is bad and the other good…if memory serves, usc students got a teacher fired for something like this…but not something done in a malicious manner. But here’s my question. Why is the media not covering this story? Have the media chosen a side?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with you, its wrong, shameful behavior, period! And your quote from your calendar is right on!
    This world has Big problems because we keep making excuses for little molehills, not realizing that’s how every mountain begins!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 1. This is a sad reflection on our society.
    2. “Sensitivity” training is not going to help.
    3. FIFA penalized the Mexican soccer team because the Mexican fans yelled homophobic slurs repeatedly. When the fans were allowed back in to a later game, they still did it. They are now being encouraged to yell Mexico or something else positive. I hope it helps.
    4. My daughter was frustrated at negativity yelled by adults at their own children at their high school games. She handled it by yelling affirmations to individual girls and the team regardless of how they were doing.
    5. 3&4 are leading by example. I think that is the best way. A confrontation is not going to win anyone’s heart and mind; it will just end up in one-upmanship, and the negative person will not want to be “shamed” in front of their peers. On the other hand, you should not just sit by and tolerate that kind of behavior. Your calendar thought for the day was a perfect match!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. As a USC alum and the parent of one as well I can’t be totally objective about this.

      Add to that the fact that I am Jewish and my ex is Mormon (and I could really go on about that since he used my mom’s Jewishness as an excuse to not visit her while I was caring for her and he already has a new girlfriend he met at church and just so much more but I’ll stop now).

      Anyway, as usual, I read through all the comments here to see if there might be one or two that sort of reflected how I might think about this particular incident and the subject in general. Of course I found it and not surprisingly it came from LGHIGGINS.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m a passionate vocal sports fan, and I’ve never found it necessary (or appropriate) to use that sort of language at a game (and I’m not a shrinking violet around bad language). About 10 years ago, I was almost punched in the face at a rugby match, when I told the man behind me that he’d crossed the line by calling a player (who I loathed) the C word. If I’d been a man, the punch would’ve landed, but he pulled back just in time, mouthing off at me instead. Very posh voice, expensive clothes, sitting in good seats, likely went to a fee-paying exclusive school, with a high-paying job in the city, a wife + 2 kids… but he’d had a few drinks and felt entitled to broadcast his opinion to everyone in the surrounding seats, and wasn’t happy when someone ticked him off. I responded to his mouthing off with a cold, quiet string of foul language spoken directly into his ear, which kept him quiet for the rest of the game. My boyfriend of the time did nothing and thought it worthy of no more than a shrug. Fortunately times have changed now and it’s no longer considered acceptable, generally being challenged by fans and officials alike. Sport has a problem with many forms of bigotry, and if you don’t deal with it early and firmly, it gets more & more out of hand. It needs to be challenged and not just by the school authorities, but by the fellow students of those fans. Peer pressure matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I agree with you. It is outrageous. It’s a sad reality that so many people are racist and think it’s okay because it’s just words and they didn’t hurt anyone. I was listening to a podcast today by pick the brain podcast and I think he answers all your questions. I will post the link of that episode as a comment

    Liked by 1 person

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