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Jesus Chant by Fans Was Poor Sportsmanship

Reaction of opposing team's coach just as bad

Fans of Cincinnati's St. Xavier High School managed to upset the coach of a public school opponent recently by cheering, "We've got Jesus."  Indeed, they upset Tom Bolden of Colerain High School so much that he lost his composure and yelled at the St. Xavier rooting section, confirming that he certainly didn't have Jesus on his side - although it's not clear if St. Xavier's fans did (after all, we can safely assume that Jesus wouldn't taunt a rival team).

The St. Xavier fans' cheer was apparently in response to a cheer from the Colerain High's fans that, "We've got girls," which St. Xavier - an all boys school - most decidedly doesn't have.

Of course, it goes without saying that fans shouldn't taunt an opponent, period.  However, as taunts go, the barbs being traded by the opposing teams' fans were relatively benign. Indeed, it is possible that the two groups of fans could otherwise have displayed good sportsmanship, and walked away thinking that the taunts they traded were just witty fun. So one must conclude either that these were not two groups of good sports fans, or that something else occurred that turned two relatively benign taunts into an unsportsmanlike incident - albeit a relatively minor one.  

One can also conclude that a coach who runs over to lambaste an opposing school's fans for such a relatively benign taunt may need to look in the mirror and figure out how he can attempt to embody, if not Jesus, at least someone who more closely resembles the kind of leader a youth sports coach should aspire to be.   This was more of a teachable moment than an opportunity to harshly pass judgment on and then rip into the opposing fans.

An educational leader should have handled this a lot better.  Still, it is an interesting story.  Who would have thought that Jesus, a coach, the composition of a student body, and a football game could all be invoked towards such a negative end?  I wouldn't have guessed it.  But I do think I can say with complete confidence that Jesus would not have been too pleased to have been invoked as part of this foolishness.

Posted September 19, 2011