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Offensive Language

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sthalken
Words 1631
Pages 7
Many people are concerned about winning. In sports, players are at the point where winning seems to be the most important thing. Some players engage in trash talking their opponents in order to gain a psychological advantage. The players do not always know the negative effects that trash talking can lead to. In the local 16 and up recreational softball league, there is a team that does a lot of trash talking. The end of the season meeting is coming up, and one of the coaches is debating if he should take action in trying to end the trash talking. I believe that a policy should go into effect with penalties and rules for teams to follow in order to provide fans with a healthy game atmosphere.
Trash talking has become very common in many sporting events. Players tend to act as if they can say whatever they want to, whether it is on the field or on the court. Just because it is a game, does not make it right to do so. Trash talking may seem innocent to the person saying it, but it can actually greatly hurt the one it is being directed towards. All players are not able to ignore trash talking as well as others might be. This can especially be the case if an individual is new to sports or not used to being around trash talk. Trash talking can do more damage than just mess up a player’s performance. Trash talking can hurt a person both mentally and physically. A person who is used to having trash talking statements directed at them could start to lose a great amount of confidence they once had. With this pattern developing, many players could lose hope and desire for sports that they once loved. If trash talking is involved whenever people associate with sports, it could cause fewer people to enjoy them.
People tend not to take much thought into common trash talking lines they are used to hearing on an everyday basis. I think people should be more aware about how the lowest forms of trash talking can be just as dangerous. I believe that for some people trash talking starts to be taken more seriously once it leans towards negativity against race or gender. It should not have to get to the point of involving race or gender in order for people to realize that players should not be allowed to trash talk opponents. The effects of the lowest forms of trash talking should be enough to encourage people to discontinue trash talking. For these reasons, I believe that trash talking should be reduced in as many ways as possible. Many negative effects occur because of players’ tendency to trash talk. There have been families that refuse to attend games of teams that are known for trash talking so that their younger children are not witnessing such impolite behavior. As Tubby Smith, the men’s basketball head coach at the University of Minnesota, argued, “Ultimately, young people learn by example from the uncivil discourse seen and heard all too frequently among adults at professional sports events and in daily life” (Smith, 2011). Families not attending these games could obviously result in considerably fewer fans attending the majority of the games in general. Having fewer fans might not only discourage the players, but also lower the amount of income that the facilities earn off of each game. Once one family decides to discontinue attending certain games, other families will begin to follow their example and do the same.
Trash talking can be an awful habit for players to get into. Players can get distracted by engaging in trash talking and not focus as much on playing their best. The trash talking usually occurs when a player is frustrated with how the game is going. On the other hand, trash talking should never be the first thing that a player leans towards in making themselves feel better and gain back confidence. Sometimes trash talking happens from those who are just not educated about the game. In this aspect trash talking should not be used because they are uninformed on the meaning behind any type of trash talking. This could happen by saying things to others about the particular game they are a part of or playing in.
When people hear others trash talking, they begin to feel as if they cannot trust that person. This can result in a lack of trust between individuals. For this reason, some people might choose to not associate with those who take part in the activity of trash talking. After some time, teams may not want to be a part of the same league as trash talking teams. If teams begin to drop out of the league and choose to join another because of lack of attendance, the league may slowly disappear. This could result in making the community look bad. It would be unfortunate if the people in the community cannot behave well enough to keep a 16 and up softball league progressing. This issue could spread and there could be families who choose not to live in a community strictly because of the lack of activities due to trash talking.
Teams that others see as trash talking teams could acquire bad reputations. When a team obtains a bad reputation, it becomes very difficult to lose that title. One game of trash talking can lead a team to a bad reputation of being known as trash talkers. That is why it is so strongly important for each teams’ future to keep a good reputation. Baron Batch stated, former Texas Tech University running back, “I think all players love trash talk, but from a player’s perspective please don’t embarrass yourself, your school, your friends, your family, your city, your household pet, or your state by engaging in pathetic trash talk” (Batch, 2010). Although Batch is not completely against all forms of trash talk, he still believes that the wrong kinds can be meaningless and unnecessary. Batch believes trash talking should be fun and witty and not result in sounding like an idiot. I agree with Batch, but from my view I take the issue farther to say that no trash talk should be permitted because of the possibility of it leading to higher forms. I believe that if trash talking embarrasses your surroundings, it could lower the view of the league as a whole to the public. This shows how trash talking teams can have effects on other teams just as much as themselves. A way to begin to fix the trash talking behavior is to introduce a “No Trash Talk Policy.” Trash talk would be defined as any comment made towards another player, coach or official that is rude or degrading towards the individual. This includes all forms of trash talking, whether it involves race, gender, cussing or just an unnecessary comment. When an umpire hears trash talking, they would have the authority to sit a player out for two innings. After the two innings are up, the player would be allowed to reenter the game. After the first consequence, if the trash talking continues, the umpire would then have the right to throw the player out for the rest of the game. It is expected that parents and fans would get angry through these penalties, but they would be part of the rules that everyone would be obligated to follow. Introducing the “No Trash Talk Policy” could begin to put an end to the trash talking which should be a main focus for the league. If this policy were to go into effect, I would expect many positive results. The amounts of trash talking at each game would be greatly reduced. Players would learn to follow these rules to avoid the penalties they could have called on them. By doing this, the players could start realizing why trash talking is hurtful and no longer allowed. Other players would see the negative effects it can cause to those certain teams that continue to trash talk. The softball games would turn into places that families can feel completely comfortable in attending and bringing their children to. This would make parents and other fans want to attend more games because they know how the environment will be. A league that has no trash talking will have a much more pleasing atmosphere then one that does partake in the activity. People are going to have more of a desire to attend softball games for a league that they are already aware of having a no trash talk policy. Softball teams will also want to be a part of a league that has these kinds of rules to insure that they are playing in a reliable league. Providing a healthy atmosphere for players and fans is important in maintaining a successful league.
Even though people are concerned about winning, it is important to remember to refrain from trash talking. The negative effects of trash talking can end worse then what was intended in the first place. Creating a bad reputation for a team could be extremely hard to ever overcome. In the local 16 and up recreational softball league meeting that is coming up, I believe it is necessary for one of the coaches to bring up the “No Trash Talk Policy.” This could greatly help the future success of the league. A policy with penalties and rules for teams to follow would provide fans with a healthy game atmosphere.

Batch, B. (2010, September 15). Trash talking takes more than loud mouth. Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Retrieved from http://lubbockonline.com/stories
Smith, T. (2011, March 7). Editorial: Throw out the trash talk at school sports. Star Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/opinion/editorials

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