Letter to the editor: Football fans get too rowdy

Letter by Megan Collins. E-mail [email protected].

Sporting events at UK are brought to life with a spirit of competition.

For many people, shouting, hollering, painting faces, dressing in blue and white and spending all day tailgating with brat and beer in hand are all in good fun on game day – I get it. Where my tolerance wears thin, though, is when a little too much alcohol and taking football too seriously result in behavior I am embarrassed to be associated with.

During Saturday’s game against Auburn, a teenage girl in the stands casually flipped through a magazine. While this may seem like a crime to some of you football fanatics, I assure you it is not.

It didn’t take long before an inebriated guy in his 20s behind her started shouting expletives at her and making demeaning comments about her disinterest in the game.

The girl was one row ahead, but this guy and his buddies were loud enough for the entire area to hear, as more and more people turned and sneered. The fact that everyone around seemed to join in on the bullying was even more disturbing.

The girl was in high school and wasn’t entertained by the game (that’s allowed, you know). She had come along with her family, but her parents were sitting in another section. She wasn’t harming or disrupting anything, so why someone would go out of his or her way to verbally insult her for a solid hour is beyond me.

The University is an institution that fosters understanding, tolerance, knowledge and diversity — the last place incidents of bullying like this should be taking place. But somehow our collective values go out the window on game day, when we temporarily forget Top 20 aspirations in favor of hoping our unbelievably strong and talented athletes are able to pummel another school into oblivion, and we place the whole notion of competitive sports on more of a pedestal than it deserves to be.

Come on – at the end of the day, it’s just a game.

Megan Collins

International Studies Senior