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Sports fans must demand decorum
Other opinions
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We expect the Arabs and Israelis to make peace. We don’t understand why the Islamic sects can’t seem to get along. And yet, we can’t even seem to shake hands after a football game without getting into a fight?
Two National Football League coaches caused a fracas with a botched handshake recently, and coaches got into a shouting match after the Georgia-Vanderbilt game.
Worst of all, Warren County football coach David Daniel sustained serious facial injuries Oct. 14 after being struck by an opposing player’s helmet while trying to break up a rowdy-dow between players. He was recovering at home as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was asked and agreed to get involved.
What happened had nothing to do with sport. It was an assault and battery and should be dealt with as the crime it was.
Some are wondering if we should give up on the tradition of coaches and/or players shaking hands after ball games.
What an absolutely horrible idea and an ominous suggestion. Are we that far gone that, for safety’s sake, we have to avoid each other after sporting events? God help us if that’s the case.
For the record, this newspaper is not going to give up so easily on civility. It’s too important and too right. It’s what separates us from the animals. The ability to be gracious to others, even in bitter defeat on the fields and courts of athletic competition, is a big part of the best part of our humanity. And some want to just chuck it?
The truth is, American sporting events have exhibited a higher degree of dignity and civility than many around the world. Soccer hooligans, for instance, are so legendary in Europe and elsewhere that they’ve been spoofed on Saturday Night Live. But it would be no laughing matter if American sports followed them into the back alleys of a sort of athletic vigilantism.
The answer isn’t to give up on respect, courtesy and decorum. The answer is to demand it. The NFL ought to demand it, the NCAA and SEC ought to demand it, the Georgia High School Association ought to demand it and schools, coaches and parents ought to demand it.
If we’re not better than that, we darned well better get there.

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