Disciplining Athletes For Personal Screwups

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by Sterling von Shimmer, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    I’ve been seeing some recent cheer anon BS directed toward athletes who screwed up in their personal lives and who now must pay with their cheer careers, if anons are to be believed.

    Which begs a larger question: how do you handle offsite athlete screwups that are technically out of your jurisdiction, but that still reflect poorly on you?

    We used to have a policy that said unless the incident occurred at an official cheer event and/or the girl was in uniform, then it wasn’t our concern. But we had to overhaul that big time with the advent of social media/girls filming themselves fighting.

     
  2. ICEcheerbaby

    ICEcheerbaby I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    I personally believe that action needs to be taken by the gym. The athlete is directly representing that gym, and by keeping the athlete there, it makes the gym look like they tolerate that kind of behavior. However with that being said, they are kids and kids screw up. Some of them are just unlucky enough to have it put on the internet. So it is kind of a case by case situation, but gyms definitely should do something about it depending on the severity of the screw up, whether that's probation for the athlete or expulsion from the gym. I also believe that gyms don't have to make it public how/if they've punished the athlete, because frankly that's nobody's business except for the gym and the athlete's family, although I can see how some people would want it to be spoken on just so people know that the gym doesn't tolerate that behavior. Honestly, I see it as an individual situation type thing, everyone's situation is different.
     
  3. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Depends on what we're talking about.

    I have seen quite a bit re: athletes and things like n-word. Or language that is homophobic or transphobic.

    As a POC and formerly a coach, that language is not okay to me and I'd definitely speak to administration about it. Same with gay slurs and such. I had gay athletes. They deserve to not have to work with someone who uses hateful language.

    Most schools have hate speech related policy that covers this sort of thing. Team contracts often cover this too.

    Some would say "But it's not in uniform or at a team event that isn't fair!"

    In life, what you do/say outside your various "uniforms" (church member, teacher, doctor, etc.) matters and can result in very real consequences.

    Think not: Ask any teacher or school coach who has been fired for something they posted online.

    Yes, these are minors but at the same time, the lesson is important.

    You are free to speak but not free from consequences of your words.

    If it takes you losing a spot on your dream team to learn it, then oh well.

    The blessing in that is you learned young and before you lost something bigger.

    Today, you lose your dream team spot for something you said. Or your dream gym. Sad, but if you don't learn, down the road it's your dream job or dream college acceptance.
     
  4. UCFKnights07

    UCFKnights07 Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    While I agree with athletes should be held to a certain standard if they are going to be doing such a followed sport. Bad language and actions have consequences.
    However what i have seen on Twitter I'm pretty much always appalled. Anon accounts calling out athletes while the athletes behavior may be out of line, these anon accounts stalk, harass, bully and belittle these kids 24/7. Their twitter accounts are based off an obsession. Their behavior is honestly far worse to me on a daily basis then a video leaking of an athlete cussing or drinking on camera. And it wouldnt shock me that these so called anons do the same behavior in their own lives.
    If gyms choose to act then that is their decision, but they also dont need to make a public announcement to prove anything to these anon twitter idiots either imo.
    Im just so over the so called "cancel culture" over every little thing. Teens make stupid mistakes probably everyday, and i dont think it should hang over their head forever, unless it is something extreme or law breaking.
    I commend these social media famous athletes/cheerlebrities and teams doing their best to ignore such spiteful hate on a daily basis. I dont know how some of them do it...
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  5. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Yeah hateful language is never acceptable. Best to nip that crap in the bud.

    That said, the singing of the n-word argument is such a complicated one. I bring it up because anons are necromancing the over-a-year-old incident of a cheerleb singing the n-word, and it’s frustrating.

    As a white person, I know there’s no reason to say the word. Ever. Not in a song, not at all. And it’s very annoying for me to see kids get in trouble for singing it because it’s so avoidable. Just literally keep your mouth shut during that part of the song. It takes less effort to not say it than it would to keep singing. This is very clear to me. So I don’t know why people keep doing it and why we keep having this conversation.

    That said, as a former stupid teenager I totally get why some kid would think it’s okay to say it if a song says it. After all, those are the words to the song. They’re not saying it, the song is. I totally understand how their kid logic would let them think that’s fine. And it stings to have to watch them learn the hard way that it’s not. I don’t condone it, but I understand the why.

    But we I don’t understand is anons using these incidents to bully others. When the cheerleb was caught, anons hijacked the moral high ground to bully her (even more than they’d already been doing). This isn’t to dismiss the backlash completely — I know some of her fans were genuinely hurt and disappointed in her, and that she had to answer for that — but I’m also sure some of the most outraged people were anons looking for any thinly-veiled excuse to bully a talented athlete. Which frankly is more offensive to me than a kid singing a song. I can forgive ignorance. I can’t forgive the moral deficiencies it takes to bully someone. As if that obsessive, delusional, cruel behavior isn’t just as bad.

    This is just me, a white person, having an opinion. I’m not trying to say she didn’t screw up, because she did. I’m not trying to tell people they shouldn’t have been disappointed by her, because I was disappointed by her and that word doesn’t even apply to me. I just think the circumstances in this case are forgivable. It’d be one thing if she was using the word to refer to her teammates or otherwise using it as the slur the word was intended to be. That would definitely hint at a major character deficit. But in this case I think it was just a dumb kid singing a song.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  6. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Big blanket statement up front - I don't care about the context in which it was used. It is never okay.

    With that being said, if it was brought to the attention of owners or coaches, and they addressed it, it is not my circus not my monkeys.

    I am not going to waste time and energy on bemoaning the course of action someone chose to take with their kids and their program. Or berating kids.

    Not because I think these small acts of racism aren't important. They are. But I also know that there are larger systemic race issues that need our collective attention and action.

    Yes, Billy or Suzy said the n-word. Disgusting. Would I have dismissed that student athlete? Probably. But that's not what their staff chose to do so I side-eye it and move on. Your local school in the Black neighborhood needs tutors. And a local nonprofit is hosting a supply drive for a mostly Black school. People have to log off and put that energy toward fighting inequality in real life spaces.
     
  7. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Oh additional sidebar:

    I see you all saying that cheer Twitter accounts are bullying folks for saying the n-word.

    Again, these instances are important for staff to address and I think everything we say has a consequence (ex: people are not going to react nicely to the n-word.)

    However, I feel like people on Twitter are just being performative.

    What I mean is that they don't actually care to be antiracist and uplift Black and Brown folk on a daily basis, but take the opportunity to LOOK CONCERNED ON THE INTERNET just because the n-word just happened to come out of the mouth of a person they did not like.

    Ex: Their fave country singer could say it and they say nothing. But because a YouTube they hate said it, they are suddenly super pro-Black.

    Support people of color all the time, not just when it is convenient.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  8. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    EXACTLY. That's what I meant by anons "hijacking" the moral high ground. I guess a better word would've been "exploiting." It's a problem when a cheerleb says it; it's fine if their fave influencer says it.

    Also, I want to be clear that I agree there is no context in which saying the n-word is acceptable. I just think there's a difference between singing it because you don't fully grasp what it means vs. saying it because you know exactly what it means. One is ignorance, one is hate. At least ignorance can be fixed.

    I just think back to all the stupid crap I said as a kid. I didn't say the n-word, but I still said hateful words that targeted people for who they were. I said them without any thought or empathy because they were in the cultural lexicon at the time. It wasn't because I was hateful, it was because I was just stupid. And then my HS teacher called a bunch of us out and we corrected our behavior. So I get being young and dumb and thoughtless, and I really appreciated that my teacher took the time to correct us in a calm but firm way. I was mortified when I realized the gravity of the things I was saying. I just needed to be told. And I hope that's the case for some of these kids: they just need to be told.
     
  9. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    I will say I don't buy for a second that any teen singing it in a song "doesn't know what it means." in 2020. I buy it for a 9 year old but not a teen.

    I also think that "I didn't know what it meant" is a copout. You know what it means (unless you live under a rock) and you said it. In whatever context it was said, you said it.

    Your intent doesn't define whether a word or action is racist/homophobic/etc.

    I agree that kids are at times ignorant. Educating kids is important but sometimes that education does (unfortunately) come in form of losing something big like a team spot, first job, etc. Hard lesson to learn for sure but the kid who loses a thing for being ignorant for sure thinks twice as an adult.

    Ex: If you had gotten suspended or kicked off dance team for saying (whatever), it would have been a bummer, but sometimes the consequence IS the educational experience. Not everyone is going to take you by the hand and say "It's okay, you're only in HS and you did not know."

    Which is why it's important for people to talk to their kids about language/racism/etc. Your intent does not define whether something is hateful or racist and once someone perceives it as such, you don't get to decide that it's "not a big deal."

    Example: I am not gay. So if a gay person says "This word is a slur and hateful." I don't get to say "But it's not because that's not how meant it." Or "I just said it in a movie quote so it's not."

    I know it's no fun to get dragged on the interwebz for what you say but: Once it leaves your mouth, it doesn't matter how you meant it. Only how it is received.

    I think anons are dumb but that is another reason to be smart about what we say. Who wants something to be resurrected every 6 months by a bunch of weirdos on the internet?
     
  10. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Yeah that’s true. You really don't get to decide a word's meaning via your intent.

    And I should clarify: when I said she “didn’t know what it meant,” I meant more that she didn’t know fully what it meant: why it’s not just a bad word, but why it’s THE bad word. Which I think correlates into understanding why you don't say it, ever. This, however, does not excuse her behavior. She should’ve known that the word isn't just profane, it's a freaking slur. And that should've been enough.

    And what you said earlier really stuck with me so I just want to say: I’m not bemoaning the bullying over the use of the slur. I’m not saying that white girl feelings matter more than POC ones. She messed up, and she deserved to be corrected.

    I just don't think she deserved to be told to go kill herself over it. Nobody does. And certainly not by anons who would’ve laughed it off had the word come from one of their friends.

    In conclusion: I really try to be understanding toward kids because of their lack of life experience, but in all honesty I do not understand what the disconnect over this word is. Just don't say it, white people. Very simple. As the great Eddie Rios once said: "WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?"
     
  11. icequeen

    icequeen Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    This!!!! I hate when people try and justify that they don't know what the word means. Or they were just singing a song. It still doesn't make it right. I still remember walking through the common area at school and accidentally bumping into a white classmate and being called the n-word.
     
  12. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    I think we are saying same things here.

    I agree with the "go kill yourself" point.

    No one deserves that.

    If people are saying that, that is wrong.

    Whatever consequence that person receives, I assume the lesson is learned. The extra "go kill yourself" and all that is uncalled for.
     
  13. quitthedrama

    quitthedrama I buy my Insta followers

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    This industry needs to stop giving cheer anons so much air time. If they have no followers, they have no retweets and no responses they will go away. Gyms needs to handle disciplinary issues in house and need to stop making statements based on drama started by anons. I don't think any kid should be kicked out of a gym for an isolated incident and it seems some gyms are bowing down to the cheer anon culture and that just gives them more power.
     
  14. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    I will add this:

    If something HAS been addressed by a gym (whether that means a kid gets kicked off a team, sits out a comp, has a very serious convo with the owners, etc) it's not the internet's place to say:

    "The gym didn't even address it! WTF."

    "Omg she/he should have been (insert punishment here."

    Not your circus. Not your rodeo.

    Example: When I coached, if I benched someone for being late, and someone outside my program like the Dance Coach said "I don't like how you handled that." it's not my job to then go back and revise the punishment based on this person's opinion.
     
  15. ImAChauffeuse

    ImAChauffeuse Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    Gyms absolutely have the power to discipline an athlete as they see fit, but in the internet age of course people are going to make their feelings known about it.

    In many places in the US a pretty white girl throwing the N-word is considered no big deal, bless her heart. She doesn’t understand why anybody is offended because obvs it was a joke haha, it was in a song haha, I was with a black person when I did it and they didn’t care haha. Parents don’t think it’s a big deal, teammates don’t think it’s a big deal, gym owners don’t think it’s a big deal.

    When you have kids/teens doing it and posting it on social media for everyone outside their redneck microcosm to view and have an opinion on, things are different. They absolutely should be taken to task for it by the outside world - that’s the only way they will learn that not everyone thinks the same way the people around them do. If the gym gets slammed for doing nothing then they also deserve it. But like I said, it’s completely up to them. And it’s completely up to the rest of us to shame them for it.