Racism In Sports Should Never Be Tolerated

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Racism In Sports Should Never Be Tolerated

Highland continues to work hard in their sports programs, while making sure to provide a safe place for athletes.

Highland continues to work hard in their sports programs, while making sure to provide a safe place for athletes.

Daria Khajavi

Highland continues to work hard in their sports programs, while making sure to provide a safe place for athletes.

Daria Khajavi

Daria Khajavi

Highland continues to work hard in their sports programs, while making sure to provide a safe place for athletes.

Max Torres, Online Sports Editor

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Sports. A word that many people love in every aspect. Sports change the way we live our lives and what we do throughout our day. Sports provide people with jobs, entertainment, and a way to bond with one another.
Racism. A word that fills the hearts of most who hear it with disgust. Racism has been around forever, and has continually hurt those who have been targeted.
These two words are typically part of separate discussions, but they have been thrust together much more often over the past few years. Racism in sports is a major issue in the world today, and many people are suffering because of it. This topic is becoming more and more charged, and is getting more needed attention. But we still have a long way to go until this problem is solved.
During the past basketball season, a Utah Jazz fan was banned for life from attending games after he taunted NBA basketball player Russell Westbrook with racist language. Professional sporting events often are breeding grounds for racist language from fans to players, or players to fans. But it is not limited to the pro ranks.
Last winter, during a basketball game in which Utah high school teams Intermountain Christian High School and Tabiona High School were facing off, the fans of Tabiona began to yell racial insults at the team members and coach of the Intermountain team. Their racial slurs were loud enough for many to hear. When the incident was reported to officials, the offensive fans were not disciplined and continued to disrupt the game. One of the players who was being insulted got so upset that he tried to attack the abusing fans. He was held back and escorted off the court.
This continued in for the whole game, and the following game. The fans were never truly punished for what they said, and were able to walk away freely feeling like what they did was OK. An investigation took place, nothing really happened other than bad publicity for the state.
Incidents like this are happening in games all over the world. Players and coaches are being harassed because of their race or background. It is not something that can be tolerated and there must be consequences for the abusers.
Jim Boyce, the head coach for the Highland boys basketball team, thinks that this conflict has shown the effect racism has had on certain areas of the world.
“I think it’s always been there, but it may be a little more pronounced where you go. Certain areas may experience more of this problem than Highland, which has a more diverse population,” Boyce said.
This issue hit Boyce hard when a Highland player was subjected to racial taunts and insults during a game last year. Again, not much came from the investigation, once again making it seem as though this type of behavior is tolerated in our state.
This is not acceptable. A sporting event should be free of abusive words which can hurt a person’s feelings, especially racist and other explicitly bigoted terms. Highland should be a place of safety and kindness, both on and off the court. Students should feel like their school is a refuge. Highland must be an environment where color and social and economic background does not matter.
Boyce believes that the key to preventing racial incidents like these is education. When people are taught that racism is wrong, incidents become less common.
“I think education is a big deal. I think that letting people know this behavior is not tolerated is very important,” Boyce said.
What took place in these games should serve as a good reminder to the Highland community to refrain from such behavior. We must strive to create a community of friendship and kindness that will welcome everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background.

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