March 16, 2011

What Happened This Weekend

I'll keep this short. In case you have been living under a rock over the past week, both the Duke mens and Duke womens basketball teams beat the University of North Carolina this weekend and last weekend respectively to win the ACC championship. If you are a Tar Hole and read this blog, sorry, but ya'll got CRUSHED! The purpose of this post isn't to gloat about our win, but to pose a question to you readers.

As with most sporting events, fans frequently use homophobic slurs to describe fouls with which they don't agree, or players to whom they don't take a fondness . Luckily, this Sunday in the Greensboro Colosseum, also known as the Dean Dome Jr., most of the fans refrained from using aforementioned slurs. Oh sure, there were plenty of "F&%# DUKE"s and "GTHC"s being thrown around, but I didn't hear much hate speech. That is until the second half.

One especially rambunctious Carolina fan, clearly distraught at his team's performance, quickly resorted to spewing ignorant verbal vomit. I almost always correct people's hate speech whenever I hear it. Even though this fan was but 3 rows behind the band, I still couldn't muster up the courage to correct him. Partially because I was completely "Duke'd" out and was afraid this fan would react poorly to confrontation, and partially because I wasn't sure if this was the venue. If you went to the Me Too Monologues and paid attention to the first act (where a student sitting in the Duke student section during the Duke-UNC game continued to scream hate speech and didn't stop until another student asked him to stop using the homophobic slurs), then you learned that, no matter the venue, it is ALWAYS the right time to stand up for LGBT rights. But in this story, the person correcting the hate speech was on the same team as the offender. In my case, the UNC fan and I, even though we had never met, were lifelong rivals. Should I have still tried to correct his speech? Or was I right to keep my mouth shut?


  1. Hey Dan,
    I think that you had a good reason not to confront him about it because he was on the opposite team and would have just assumed that it was another d00kie trying to assert power over him or just trying to tell him to shut up because he was from UNC. However, I don't think you should have kept your mouth shut. It's just my personal opinion and next time it comes up, you can feel free to totally disregard my advice. But my thinking is this:

    If you only try to help people who are on your team (for the purposes of this event) then you risk leaving behind the rest of the population. Correcting hate speech isn't something that is selectively applied to people who we have some direct connection with. No one should be able to get away with it.

  2. Honestly, I think you did the right thing in this case. That person probably isn't a bigot, just someone who was upset that his team was losing and acted like an idiot because of it. It's no excuse for saying hateful things, but sometimes it's just best to let it go.

    I hear people use those words all the time and usually don't say anything unless it's directed at me specifically. We've all said and done stupid stuff, and this instance is a clear reminder of that.

    That being said, good for you for sticking up for what you know is right, even if you didn't say anything this one time!

  3. I don't think we should question your choice in that moment. There's lots of issues and emotions in the moment that kept you from acting and we can't say we'd behave differently in your situation. That said, I think it would have been good if you spoke up, if only to stand up for yourself and feel good that you hadn't let those words go uncontested. I doubt you would have made a huge difference, but at least you would have said something. That's important to your own self-respect.

  4. Hey Dan! You know what's interesting? This was the topic of a Me-Too Monologue just a few weeks ago too! So it sounds like it happens a lot to a lot of people:

  5. yeah, that is the exact first act to which I was referring.