Booing spurs unsportsmanlike behavior

Booing in the stands can be a questionable expression for any sporting event.

Having fans cheering on your team and booing the opposing side is a typical part of any game.

Some people believe that booing the opposing side can be unsportsmanlike, and others will say it is just part of the game.

Fans might see booing as either an acceptable or unacceptable behavior, but athletes and coaches have another view on the matter.

“Sometimes the booing is very motivational for the away team,” Scott Marksberry, head coach of JBU’s men’s soccer team. “We actually kinda feel more motivated to compete harder when other fans are booing at us. I don’t necessarily want our fans to do that because that might actually give a little bit of extra competitiveness or an extra drive to our opponent.”

Of course there should be limitations to what booing should entail. It is okay to get defensive for your team but one should not take it too far. Personal attacks should be avoided, said Ken Carver, head coach of JBU’s women’s volleyball team.

“I think it depends on how it’s done,” Carver said, “I think if fans are being very vindictive in terms of how they’re doing it, whether that’s at an official, or at one particular player or at a coach, I think that kinda crosses the line as it relates to sportsmanship. Bad calls, to a certain point, are just part of the game.”

As an athlete, one learns not to pay too much attention to what is happening in the stands.

“Whenever I’m playing, I’m really focused on the court and what’s going on, so I normally don’t hear much of what’s going on in the stands,” Tiffany Hunnicutt, a player on JBU’s woman’s volleyball team, said. “I hardly hear cheering and I hardly hear booing, so for me, it doesn’t affect my game as much.”

Another player commented on the topic when playing away games.

“Usually they’re booing as if we’re probably playing good, so I would take that as a motivator,” Mathew Ledford, a freshman on JBU men’s basketball team, said.

Ledford also expanded on what it’s like when the crowd is not responsive or, in rare cases, criticizing their own team.

“I don’t think as a team we should let that affect us,” Ledford said. “We’re a group so we play together, whether people are cheering or not. Sometimes, at the end of the day, there’s no one in the stands, but we’re still going to play hard.”

To sum up the athletes’ view of booing in the stands, Max Hopfgartner, a senior on the JBU men’s basketball team, said, “On the road, I don’t mind it. I don’t really pay that much attention to it during the game.”