Mormons are used to turning the other cheek. But that’s not ending bigotry.

The recent incident at a Pac-12 college football game where derogatory chants were directed at members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has raised concerns about the tolerance of bigotry in public spaces, and the responsibility of institutions to address such behavior.

A college football fan, identified as Aubrey, experienced chants of “F- the Mormons” from the crowd during a game between Brigham Young University and the Oregon Ducks. Despite her discomfort, she hesitated to confront the rowdy crowd until the chanting persisted, and she eventually sought intervention from stadium staff. Unfortunately, her initial attempts were met with indifference, with one worker dismissing the issue as a joke.

While the church has been commended for its composed response to perceived offenses, such as the musical “The Book of Mormon,” which satirizes the religion, the repeated targeting of its members raises questions about the normalization of bigotry. The incident has prompted reflection on whether the tolerance of offensive behavior inadvertently enables it, and the need for universities to take more proactive measures in such situations.

While acknowledging the importance of upholding free speech, particularly in public spaces, there is a call for universities to actively promote good sportsmanship, set clear expectations for behavior, take appropriate enforcement actions, and ensure accountability for both fans and staff members who condone such behavior. Not only does this align with the principles of diversity and inclusivity championed by educational institutions, but it also contributes to creating a welcoming environment for all individuals, including visiting fans and potential recruits.

Ultimately, while advocating for the responsible management of public behavior, it is important to recognize the balance between free expression and respectful interaction within diverse and inclusive spaces, upholding the virtues of understanding and solidarity.

Similar Posts