Brad Rock: LDS bashing by sports fans crosses the line

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 27 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

Cougarboard.com posted an e-mail Tuesday, purportedly from Don Oberhelman, SDSU associate athletics director. In response to a BYU fan's complaint, the note said, in part, "As an employee of a public university, I'm sure you understand the student's rights of free speech and freedom of expression. I don't approve of, or condone their attire, but their costumes are a regular occurrence based on who we are playing. 98% of what they do at our games makes for a fantastic basketball atmosphere, the 2% like this makes me cringe."

Which is interesting, considering it wasn't the costume as much as the chanting and gesturing that was offensive.

BYU can expect to get heckled with a basketball team that is nationally ranked. Cougar sports teams have won more Mountain West Conference championships than any other. Nobody heckles BYU better than Utah State and Utah fans, many of whom are LDS themselves.

But razzing is one thing. Deliberately insulting a faith is something else.

It isn't just wrong and intolerable.

It's also icky.

e-mail: rock@desnews.com

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