MADISON, Wis. – State Rep. Dale Kooyenga addressed the controversy over the WIAA’s decision to ban certain chants at athletic events with a letter to the association.

“Let the students play and let the fans be fans,” said Kooyenga.

The WIAA rules on student chants earned national attention this week when a student athlete earned a suspension for drawing attention to the rules on social media with a tweet that said “EAT S**** WIAA.” The WIAA policy on chants banned “airball,” “seive,” fundamentals,” and whole host of popular chants common at athletic events.

“Having our young people in the sporting arena makes them stronger – an arena that builds character includes jeers and cheers. High school athletes are our future leaders. There is education in learning how to deal with the opponent’s fans, embarrassment and losing,” said Kooyenga.

Kooyenga recounted his experience as a high school basketball player who endured chants and few minutes of playing time before working his way into playing for a community college and eventually Division III basketball at Lakeland College in Sheboygan. Kooyenga eventually joined the United States Army where the chants of student sections and the yelling of coaches paled in comparison to the tone of drill sergeants.

“The majority of athletes being jeered will build stronger character as a result and as Teddy Roosevelt stated “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike,”” said Kooyenga.

Authored by Collin Roth
Originally posted here

Published with permission

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