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Michigan prep conference asks fans to stop chanting ‘USA’

September 16, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A conference comprising 50 Michigan high schools issued a directive this week that fans refrain from chanting ‘USA’ during games.

FootballHand-300x200According to MLive.com, an email was sent to Grand Rapids administrators earlier this week informing them of the decision, which was made by the conference presidents, AD presidents and principals. Conference Commissioner Jim Haskins said chants of ‘USA’ are encouraged after the playing of the National Anthem, but fans are asked not to do it during competition.

From MLive.com:

“Fans can chant USA before the National Anthem or after it,” Haskins said. “But once you start the game, because of the connotations of what people are looking at, whenever you are using it the second time, it can be used as derogatory, such as U Suck (bleep) and those type of things. That’s what we have the problems with.

“The OK Conference presidents, the AD presidents and principals have decided to avoid any conflict by eliminating it except for the National Anthem. This is supposed to be used to honor our flag, not to degrade somebody else.”

MLive.com reported that fans at a Forest Hills Central and Ottawa Hills game the week prior chanted ‘USA’ while waving a Donald Trump banner and a Betsy Ross flag.

A similar incident occurred in Texas, where fans used the chant during a soccer game that included a school with a large Hispanic population. Last spring, fans in Massachusetts chanted ‘USA’ in a basketball game that included a school with a large immigrant population. The perception for some, including those leading the OK Conference, is that it’s being used to taunt opponents as opposed to a show of patriotism.

In Michigan, Haskins said that fans using the chant at OK Conference games will be asked by security to stop. There was no word on whether schools or fans could face additional punishment for ignoring the directive.

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