The sad thing about the screaming slurs that an agitated Tar Heel fan directed at U of L coach Rick Pitino during last week’s North Carolina game is that such behavior has now become pretty much routine at sports events. This incident only stood out because, for once, Pitino didn’t let it slide, but called the offender out for his bad behavior, and the guy was ejected.
I don’t know exactly what was said, but that isn’t the point. The point is that it seems our sports – which should be a way for fans to relax for a while and escape the realities of the day’s serious business – are instead reflecting the overall coarsening of human interaction that’s been plaguing America overall.
“I paid for my ticket, and I’ll yell what I want,” is the routine excuse given for behavior like this. But the price of admission doesn’t include the right to verbally abuse and provoke anyone else.
No, there’s nothing wrong with partisan cheering for the home team – or even a few digs at the visiting team. But it’s obvious when someone’s stepped over the line.
As WDRB’s Rick Bozich said in his column last week, “Can’t we do better? Shouldn’t we expect more?”
For me, the answer to both those questions is “yes.” But do you agree? Call and tell us.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.