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Old 09-12-2006, 07:34 AM   #1
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Boston University Bans Swearing, Racist And Sexist Language At Sporting Events

Gotta love that student who thinks sports can't be fun without all that stuff. I guess when you're 18 you think that way. Actually going by some of the people at pro games, it has nothing to do with age. When you have paid so much for a ticket honestly it can be awful, some of the things I have heard are really offensive. The swears don't bother me all that much if at all, but racist and sexist language certainly does-seems to me one of the goals for a college should be to teach people that is not acceptable.

By Maria Cramer and Sarah Schweitzer, Globe Staff | September 12, 2006

No swearing allowed. Quit the sexist and racist chants, as well.

And if sports fans don't stop, they will get tossed from the stands, Boston University officials are warning.

Terrier fans are particularly rabid at ice hockey games, where they wear red and white jerseys, paint their faces, and proudly proclaim their loyalty in loud and sometimes profane chants. They call themselves the Dog Pound and are known for taunting rival fans and insulting opposing players.

But university officials said yesterday that they have a new policy forbidding the use of swear words at BU sports events, along with racist and sexist comments. The penalty is expulsion from the sporting event, and it has enraged some students who say that cursing is practically tradition.

``That's terrible and an infringement on our freedom of speech," said Kendall Lyons, an 18-year-old sophomore who often takes part in the chants. ``Sports won't be fun anymore."

BU's dean of students, Kenneth Elmore, said the new policy was put in place after administrators received numerous complaints about the stream of obscenities coming from students at hockey games.

Complaints from fans and parents were particularly bitter in March, following the NCAA Northeast Regional final in Worcester, where archrival Boston College trounced BU 5 to 0 and where BU fans shouted a refrain that included an obscenity. The NCAA complained and suggested that BU officials do something about the bad language, Elmore said.

``We wanted to make clear that games should be spirited and lively," Elmore said.

``But standing and shouting obscenities does not have a place. I don't equate school spirit with the yelling of obscenities."

Stephen Burgay, a school spokesman, said the new policy was based on others adopted by schools around the country, including the University of Wisconsin and Ohio State University.

The policy, which will be printed on the back of tickets for all varsity sports events and in letters delivered to season ticket holders, will apply at all sporting venues, including Agganis Arena, where the university's ice hockey team plays; Nickerson Field, where the soccer team s play; and Case Gymnasium, where the basketball teams play.

The policy bans the use of obscene, racist, or sexist language. Violators of the policy will be removed from the event, and repeat offenders of the policy could be permanently barred from the arena, Elmore said.

Burgay said the policy was vetted by a lawyer working for the school who said the policy was reasonable and appropriate and did not violate the First Amendment.

In the past, Elmore said, fans expressed their enthusiasm by chanting, ``Rough `em up, Rough `em up, Rough `em up. Go BU."

However, in recent years, the Dog Pound has altered the cry to insult the rival team. Fans are most fervent for their traditionally strong hockey team, which has won four national championships and has sent many players to the National Hockey League.

``We call the goalie ugly a lot," Lyons said with pride. ``We'll tell him to put his helmet back on."

School officials hope spectators return to more wholesome cheers.

``I know our fans can be classy," Elmore said. ``I hope they can use cheers we can all participate in and feel proud to do."

Some students are not sure the policy will have the desired effect.

``I really don't know how they're going to enforce it," said Tim Sullivan, a 20-year-old junior, who waited with friends at an MBTA station on Commonwealth Avenue yesterday. ``The hard core fans . . . you're not going to stop them. . . . They're going to kick out the whole [student] section."

Elmore said ushers in the stands will listen and watch for violators. Elmore, who goes to many of the games, said he also will be vigilant. He said he will not sit among the more rabid fans until he is confident they have stopped their errant ways.

``I one day hope to sit with the students and be cheering with them," he said.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:58 AM   #2
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i'm a bit torn on this... where do they draw the line?

now obviously if someone's using racist language they should be removed immediately. that's a given, and if it wasn't already in practice, then shame on BU for letting it go on for so long in the first place.

but what about something as mild as "hey goalie... you suck!" does that count as being obscene? will that get you kicked out? what if you're on the hot dog line, and after 10 minutes of waiting on line realize that you left your wallet at your seat and say, to yourself so that only you and the 2-3 people around you, "oh shit." do you get ejected for that?

i think if they just put a warning on the back that inappropriate behavior will result in ejection from the arena at the arena's discretion, and that's it.

now it seems like this is in respone to the chant "rough 'em up" changing to "fuck 'em up." if that's the case, i guess i can understand it. a "fuck 'em up" chant is certainly inappropriate, classless and should be squashed out.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:36 AM   #3
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Must we control EVERYTHING?
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:54 AM   #4
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Our school is doing something similar, called "Hokies Respect", though I think that was more of a result of actions done by a former quarterback than fans (Thanks, Marcus Vick). But I don't think people are actually ejected from games for it. It is just a pledge they guilt the students into signing.

Personally, I say cut the problem at it's source, and that guards should do a better job of searching students for liquor. I think most of the rude behavior that occurs is a result of people shoving airplane bottles into their knickers.
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
Must we control EVERYTHING?
You looked for a three month old thread that no one cared about to say that?
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:57 AM   #6
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It was a "similar thread".
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:58 AM   #7
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Whatever, have fun
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:16 PM   #8
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OK, get rid of racist and sexist chants. I thought that was already in place at nearly every sporting event...

But to ban swearing at a football game? That's like banning singing at an opera.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:23 PM   #9
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more the better in everything , they can ban whatever they want :cigs , speaking , hot dogs , cheerleaders and all the other things that you like and blah , blah , blah , blah

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Old 12-15-2006, 02:35 PM   #10
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I think it's a bit silly to want to ban swearing at a sporting event. What's wrong with swearing?
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:30 PM   #11
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hmm, i didn't realize this thread was old
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