2018-05-10 / Sports

FOLLOWING SPORTS RELIGIOUSLY

Watch what you say
By Mike Wilson
Sports Reporter • mwilson@mihomepaper.com


Mike Wilson Mike Wilson It amazes me as I wander around the sports venues throughout our county the language I hear coming out of the student athletes’ mouths. Gender does not seem to matter, both sexes seem to toss out expletives with the ease of a grisly old sea captain. There seems to be very little restraint, no consequences and no limitation as to what curse words they use.

During the last presidential election, there was a controversy over language used by then Candidate Trump that was caught on tape. It was described by those reporting it as “Locker Room” talk. Many people were deeply offended by the language, yet nearly every day I hear as bad if not worse things coming out of the mouths that we still consider to be minors.

When I was in high school, “locker room talk” certainly existed, but it was mostly limited to the locker room - and the young ladies would never reduce themselves to that level of conversation and young men restrained themselves in the presence of young ladies. It was not unusual for a penalty or ejection to occur if the game official heard such language on the field of play. In fact, I remember my high school English teacher saying that using such language was a sign of a lack of intelligence. Proverbs 17: 27 seems to confirm my English teacher’s words: “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

So, what has happened? Do our young athlete’s lack intelligence? Do these words have different meaning now than they did in years gone by (there are some curse words that I have heard used as a noun, verb, and an adjective, all in the same sentence)? Is it a lack of discipline?

I think a large part of this trend is a lack of respect, respect of others, and respect of themselves and a lack of respect for God.

Proverbs 16:24 & 27 describes words in this way: “Kind words are like honey. They are sweet to the spirit and bring healing to the body. 27 A worthless person plans to do evil things. Their words are like a burning fire.”

Perhaps we as parents, coaches, spectators, and officials need to look at our own choice of words and provide a positive role model. After all, where did these student athletes learn these words? We are quick to blame movies, music and culture for the use of coarse language, but the reality is our youth learn from those who taught them to speak in the first place. I think if we as adults show our respect for the power of our words, respect for ourselves, respect for others and mostly respect for God, we will soon see a change in our students’ behavior, language and their respect for us.

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