No Means No: Has Fandom Gone Too Far?

After second ranked Oregon’s defeat of third┬áranked Florida State in today’s Rose Bowl, some things happened that made fans very upset.

It all started when what appeared to be at least half of the Florida State football team walking into the locker room before shaking hands with the Oregon players.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit commented on the players’ early departure by calling them out. He pointed out the teams poor demonstration of sportsmanship, and wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion. This led to backlash by the Florida State faithful. Upset with the fact that someone would ever dare call out their team, most responded by saying something along the lines of, “well Oregon isn’t exactly a classy organization either.”

This response was referring to the Oregon fans and players chanting “no means no” after the game in what was an obvious allusion to the rape charges filed on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. It should be noted that Winston was never convicted.

Although it Is true that the players and fans of Oregon shouldn’t have responded in such a manner, that’s beside the point. The point is, Kirk Herbsreit wasn’t saying that Florida State is a classless organization, all he was saying is that it was a poor representation of sportsmanship from the Florida State players, and he is right.

What’s right and wrong is starting to become blurred when it comes to sports, and it’s beginning to become a problem. Just because someone else does something that displays poor sportsmanship doesn’t mean you should too. If a man shoots another man, is it okay to shoot him?

I saw another example of this in a Facebook discussion a couple days ago with regards to Ndamukong Suh’s recent suspension being lifted. When someone tried to call out Suh for being a dirty player, let’s just call this guy Bob. Someone commented on what Bob said, by pointing out how a player from Bob’s favorite team had also once done something dirty. This comment just baffled me, just as much as the comments made about Oregon in an attempt to justify what Florida State did.

Why should it ever make a difference? Suh tried to hurt the player, and that’s not okay. The Florida State players blatantly disrespected common courtesy. Neither is okay, it doesn’t matter if someone else did it as well. I would hope that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has a talk with his players about this. Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich has already announced that all players involved in the ‘no means no’ chant will be punished. I know people aren’t going to change how they feel about their favorite teams. I just wanted to provide a little food for thought.