Profanity and the F-word
Professional tennis players Roger Federer and Serena Williams recently used profanity and were both reprimanded too. There are many more examples of pro athletes too. Sports figures, some say, are role models for youngsters. Hmm, I remember hearing politicians - like former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney defend his vulgarity. The obscenity he used was the same F-word.
But let's stick to sports. Are people making too much of a fuss or should there be more emphasis put on school-age athletes to refrain from offensive comments or behaviour? Some high school coaches tell me that profanity is not an acceptable means of communication in sports. Yet, watching games, I hear it all the time at school games.
There are even profane T-shirts worn to games. I remember reading about a high school student who was suspended for showing a sign that said "We Suck" at a game. Profanity? While schools like to be firm about a code of conduct, I often wonder how many times a coach will pull a player from a game, sit him or her down or even boot the player off the team for using an obscenity. Doubt it, particularly if the athlete in question is one of the best on the team.
Many times, it's a spur-of-the-moment thing. The anger and frustration come after a loss or a bad play or a penalty. Sometimes it's inspired by a prank or a reaction to a player on an opposing team using the index finger. Words that come out of the mouths of athletes, and girls too, can be very nasty.
Maybe the answer is to have players just say "bleep, bleep."