Last month I wrote about New Jersey’s ban on trash talking during high school events. Well, their northern neighbor is taking things one step further…
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Central Committee will meet this week to discuss implementing a policy to ban trash talk through social media.
John Rathbun, executive with Section III, the largest region affiliated with the NYSPHAA, says that he’s aware of a couple of instances where students have used social media to taunt opponents.
“We’ve had a number of situations throughout the state where there’s been taunting, baiting, posting of pictures … just some rude things,” he said. “Really there’s no penalty if a kid is caught harassing somebody through social media. So we’re going to take a look at that.”
Depending on how severe, penalties for violating the rule could begin at a school reprimand and end at a one year suspension from the sport.
Committee members have admitted that monitoring and proving such acts would be difficult, but consider it at least worth talking about.
With all of these trash talk bans I question whether we are making these athletes/students soft. I am not an advocate for bullying of any kind, but I see no harm in a little bit of trash talk between opponents. If a student athlete is talented enough to play at any level above high school, criticism and trash talk from the media, fans, and opposing team is normal. Some of the best athletes on a professional level have learned how to channel those criticisms and trash talk into motivation. And I’m sure if you asked them, a good verbal joust with an opposing player only made want to beat them more. I know it worked for me. Besides, who wants to watch a generation full of soft athletes? I don’t.