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What About Respect? Civility?

Written by Posted On Friday, 16 July 2021 00:00

Can the words civility and sports fans be used in the same sentence? If the simple definition of civility is courtesy and the word fan is abbreviated from fanatic (excessively enthusiastic), can fans be courteous?

We recently observed that fans have thrown objects at NBA players as well as shouting vulgar and obscene names at them during and after games. We’ve also noticed that some fans, wanting to cheer on their T*E*A*M by standing up thereby blocking the view of other fans, who were cheering the same team, but seated. All of these fans were in seats near the playing floor. The seated fans asked those standing to please sit down since those seated couldn’t see. Those standing refused to sit. If you were one of those standing, what would you do?

It was observed that those standing were younger (20s-30s), while those seated were older (50s-60s). Older fans intend to sit more than stand, and at stadium events usually sit throughout the event. Attending a concert an older audience usually remains seated, except for an occasional standing ovation. During an athletic event, standing happens more often.

Younger fans tend to stand throughout – rock concerts and the like. You may have noticed that during college sporting events, students stand the entire game – football and basketball. During the recent NCAA Baseball World Series, most all attendees were seated except for the occasional home run.

During the aforementioned confrontation, the fans’ response to the request to sit down was, “We paid for these seats,  and we’ll stand if we want to.” Those sitting replied, “Well, if you paid for the seats, sit in them!” “NO!” came back from the other side. The banter continued.

Since today’s younger crowd wants to stand, the question is: Is it their right, even if they do block the view of others?” Those standing argue that standing creates more enthusiasm and support for their team. If you observe players closely you may notice that while the players welcome their fans’ attendance, they don’t care much if they stand or sit.

One caution: Please be careful in fan confrontation in today’s world since it may lead to violence.

Will you be considerate of others not only in arenas but in all parts of society?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

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