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Beyond poor sportsmanship

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, February 8, 2009

Having just returned from the women’s basketball game, I am so excited about the victory over DePaul. It was also great to join in the efforts of the Pink Zone by supporting many organizations fighting against Breast Cancer. However, I was extremely annoyed and angered by the students in the front row of the student section – including our “beloved” Leprechaun – as well as members of the male cheerleading squad. While I must admit that I was grateful that they shared their pizza with me, I was not impressed by their overall sportsmanship and representation of Our Lady’s University.

Upon arriving to the game, they sat in the front row, which was clearly already reserved – one would be able to notice this by the shirts and jackets covering the seats. These people appeared to think that the seats had been reserved for them. These seats were actually reserved for some students in the Science department who were recognized early in the game for all of the cancer research the department here at Notre Dame has done and continues to do. When these students returned, they shyly asked for their shirts and jackets, but they did not get to enjoy the rest of the game from the seats which they came early to reserve. As the game continued, the boys in the front row and certain male cheerleaders exchanged reactions (not all related to the game) and used language such as “f*ck,” “what the f*ck” and “motherf*cker.” Now I know they were placed in front of the student section, but we were on the isle and there were families with children who could not have been older than eight years old. On the other side of the student section sat more families, including cancer survivors. Perhaps theses students could restrain themselves from using profanity for the two and a half hours that they are “cheering” on our girls.

The most disrespect came during halftime. Since this was the special Pink Zone game, there was a memorial ceremony honoring survivors and those who have lost their battle with cancer. WNDU’s Tricia Sloma introduced a clip from the Secret Sisters Society which featured people who have since passed away after losing their battles with cancer. During this short film, the students in front of me started using their best movie announcer voice to say things like “In a world where …” and “Coming this summer …” These comments were being made during a slide show of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends who had lost their lives to cancer. How could they be more disrespectful? As a child of a cancer survivor, I found their comments particularly harsh. Impolite and disrespectful do not seem just words to describe this behavior. Some of these people represent our University on a regular basis at sporting events and at other events on campus, but they seem to have little regard for those around them. This goes beyond poor sportsmanship to being disrespectful to those students and community members who came to support the Fighting Irish. Today I was proud to support the Fighting Irish as well as the Pink Zone and its efforts, but I was ashamed to be associated with members of a student body who have no regard for the many lives lost to cancer.

Megan Trout

grad student

Fischer Graduate Residences

Feb. 8