Sporting events need to crack down on bigotry


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To stop bigotry in sports events, attendees should be required to sign waivers and face severe consequences when they do not comply.

Fans are more frequently getting out of control as stadiums open up. Just this NBA postseason, fans have spat on and thrown racist slurs, popcorn and water bottles at players.

If attendees had to sign waivers with a zero-tolerance policy for violence toward athletes, spectators would be held accountable for their actions.

Sports fanatics are known for being overenthusiastic but this attitude often escalates to abuse.

Fans feel entitled to this inappropriate behavior because they view players as a form of entertainment rather than whole people.

They treat athletes as playthings, especially players of color, who are dehumanized not only by their team name but by their race, too.

“It has happened to probably a majority of Black players in the game,” said Chris Young, a former Major League Baseball player for the Red Sox, during an interview with CBS This Morning in 2017. “It’s not just Boston. It’s society.”

The violence athletes face is more than what is seen on the field. Systemic bigotry is prevalent between teams, in media portrayals and even in dress codes enforced by the sport.

For example, Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Bob Brenly made a racist comment about New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman’s durag in a game on June 1.

Brenly has since apologized publicly and privately to Stroman. He said he will be “seeking sensitivity training,” in his public apology.

But Brenly was allowed to continue broadcasting for the remainder of the game.

Bigotry in sports is deep-rooted. A cultural shift must combat the discrimination that athletes experience. This starts with holding people accountable.

Requiring all attendees, including teammates and opponents, to comply with rules against verbal and physical harm would be a start.