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NJ Targets Trash Talking High School Athletes [AUDIO]

Starting in September, if your son or daughter engages in trash talk during a high school sporting event, they may face personal discipline, their school team could be fined or suspended, and the student could wind up being investigated by the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights.

Flickr User Ian Kahn

“It’s just that now it seems trash talking is just more flagrant, it’s more in your face […] Sports has gone a little, maybe too far, in many cases the wrong way from where we would like it,” says the Assistant Director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, Larry White.

He stresses the most important point for everyone to keep in mind is that “it’s a game, and that the whole point is that it’s supposed to be competition but friendly competition.”

White adds it’s no secret that trash talking has been going on for decades, but this is an opportunity to let everyone know that it’s not going to be tolerated.

“In a perfect world we wouldn’t have be butting in, but it’s not a perfect world, and just because it’s always been, it doesn’t make it right.”

He also points out NJSIAA rules specify that schools are not only responsible for their players, they are also responsible for their fans, so if the spectators are using some inappropriate terms and words – as far as ethnic or gender goes, then their school could possibly be penalized for their behavior as well.

“The point is let’s put a greater awareness out there that it’s not going to be tolerated,” he says. “It’s about winning with class and not making the other team or members of the team degrade them in any way.”

“Let’s get back to just playing the games because it’s fun, it’s exercise, it’s going out there, trying to do your best. And then when you win, you’re humble in winning, if you lose, you’re gracious, and that’s it.”

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