Bias Language Banned in High School Sports


Photo Credit: Juliana Roddy

Despite being ready to begin, the players must first listen to new regulations regarding biased language according to the NJSIAA guidelines.

The first event that occurs at all football, volleyball, or lacrosse game this season will no longer be the kickoff, serve, or faceoff.

One major aspect of playing a sport may be considered smack talk. However, New Jersey has now imposed a ban on all biased language at all sports games for the high school level.

Before the start of every match or game, officials, coaches, and captains are all called onto the field to discuss the new language based rules. New guidelines state that “any verbal, written or physical conduct related to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation” calls for the disqualification of the player.

The hope for the new ban on specific words is aimed to reduce the amount of discriminating and derogatory language that occurs by fans and the players. This will affect not only football games, but will be in place for all high school sports.

Nonetheless, students seem to have different opinions on this subject. A Glen Rock High School sophomore said, “Without the language, the true passion of the sport is not completely revealed.” And another student defended the use of the questionable vocabulary, having said, “It’s not taken into context but used in the heat of the moment.”

Yet not all students think the same way.

On the other end of the spectrum, a GRHS student said, “Here at Glen Rock we accept everyone, no matter the race, gender, orientation… which is why I think this new rule will help to improve the attitude of the players and make them watch what they say.”

It is obvious that there are mixed feeling towards the new rules in Glen Rock high school, however, students are going to have to adapt now that this ban is permanent and will start to be used in other states.

Ultimately, most athletes seem to agree with the new rules most of the time.

“The ban on bias language is great,” said one Glen Rock athlete, “Unless we’re playing Pompton.”