Wright Words: Stay classy, San Diego State

Published: Wednesday, March 2 2011 6:00 a.m. MST

But what about the sign that read, "Wives-for-Rent"? Or the signs that carried vile slurs aimed at Jimmer’s girlfriend? What about the fans who threw candy on the court? I’d call it elementary school stuff, but that’s not fair to little kids who actually know better.

If you were the athletic director at BYU or any other school that endures religious taunts, dangerous playing conditions or any other behavior that crosses the line of good sportsmanship, wouldn’t you find other places to play? After all, there are 344 other Division I basketball teams in the country.

It’s certainly acceptable and encouraged to cheer and chant and to hope with all your heart your team wins. In the proper spirit, sports can bring people together and bridge differences in cultures, wealth and religion. What’s happening at “The Show” at SDSU shouldn’t be encouraged and is completely unacceptable.

To be certain, this inappropriate, childish behavior happens on other college campuses around the country, and BYU has its own share of fans that have probably crossed the line. If BYU treats Notre Dame or anyone else this way during a visit to Provo, I’ll gladly reboot this column and let the Cougars have it.

Rivalries are wonderful and good-natured ribbing and passionate competition are part of sports. Chanting obscenities, mocking religion and denigrating players and their families is not. No one should ever have to apologize to a child for a sport’s broadcast.

I anticipate many SDSU fans will call me prudish, self-righteous and other derogatory names. I just wish they could follow Ron Burgundy’s advice to “Stay classy, San Diego.”

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