Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Opinion | Heckling is not code for slurs

CW / Natalie Teat
Alabama defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (#1) pushing back a Texas player on Sep. 9 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

A heckler is a person who attempts to distract others by saying offensive things, asking invasive questions, or just attempting to make the most unnatural environment possible for athletes, political figures, etc.

Recently, our Alabama Crimson Tide football team suffered a traumatic loss to the Texas Longhorns. Tensions were high as the fourth quarter came to a close and we were down by 10 points. Feelings of sadness, anger and even mild hostility are completely valid feelings to have when watching such a good matchup this early on in the season. 

However, it seems like a certain demographic of Alabama fans hasn’t been this angry since the ruling on Brown v. Board of Education.   

This past Saturday, students reported hearing shouts of racial and homophobic slurs toward Black Texas football players after the game as they celebrated their win.

Not only is this an explicit violation of the Capstone Creed, it is an utterly and remarkably blatant racial aggression. While heckling is a common way avid sports fans show their team pride, it should never be used as a way to undermine and belittle a member of the opposing team (even if they wear a gaudy orange jersey) based on their skin color or other aspects of their identity.

As a Black student here at The University of Alabama, like a large majority of our football team, I find this situation wildly insulting, but not all that surprising. Going into my fourth year, I have had my fair share of racial slurs hurled at me, like the time I was called the N-word walking back to my dorm or the time I was minding my own business walking down the Strip and someone yelled it from a truck.

Racial aggressions are not new here at the University or in the South by a long shot. But it is something that needs to be eliminated if we are to progress as a community. 

I also think Alabama student fans hold our team in such high regard that words like those uttered this past Saturday wouldn’t dare escape their mouths if face-to-face with one of these top recruits.

Regardless of how our team played during their last matchup, if Jalen Milroe walked up to you, you wouldn’t dare tell him to “go back to the projects.” In fact, you’d probably say something like, “Congratulations on making QB1, you’re only going to get better.”

So, the next time you see another athlete who doesn’t look like you in something other than an Alabama jersey, please think of better quips, and don’t succumb to slurs to show your hatred for Texas.

It’s still horns down, but let’s not add slurs to it.

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