Coach Staley Condemns Taunting and Jawing
Last week South Carolina played a tough game against Duke. At one point in the game, a South Carolina player blew a kiss at a Duke player after she hit a big shot in the game to say “goodbye.” In a separate incident, a Duke player blocked a shot and stood over the South Carolina player to taunt her. Both teams started jawing at each other and players had to be restrained. This activity resulted in double-technical fouls.
After the game, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley (one of the role models profiled in this program) addressed the media. She said that after watching the video, she directed her players to apologize to the Duke players for their actions. Staley emphasized the importance of displaying better sportsmanship and avoiding scuffles like this. She was concerned about her team crossing the line between playing hard and unsportsmanlike behavior. She hopes that her team will learn from this experience and respect the game moving forward.
Joe’s Perspective: When competitors meet in competition, it is easy to let your emotions get the better of you. However, as Coach Staley says, we need to respect the line between playing hard and unsportsmanlike behavior. The hard part is not crossing it in the heat of the battle. In the end, we must respect the game, respect the opponent and respect the schools that we represent. After all, it is just a game and our character matters much more than the outcome of any contest. Remember that.
Your Turn: Have you ever crossed the line to the line from playing hard to unsportsmanlike behavior? If so, using 20/20 hindsight, what would you have done differently?