As many of you have heard by now, someone in the UNC crowd at the Maryland game on Saturday was caught verbally chastising the Maryland players to "Go back to the ghetto." Obviously this is a reprehensible remark, probably made in the heat of the moment and an unfortunate addendum to what was already a horrible day for UNC fans. Initially most of the focus fell on "crying fans" aspect of the game but as of today The Sporting Blog picked up the story.
I'll let you make your own judgments with regards to how offensive (and possibly racist) this slur is, although I'm fairly certain she meant it in the most hateful way possible.
And for the record, I in no way think all Tar Hell fans are horrible people. But this sort of behavior clearly reflects poorly upon their entire fan base.
First let me say that, yes, it was terrible thing to say if for no other reason than the fact there has been many a Tar Heel player to step on that floor and win games representing UNC who come from less than desirable socioeconomic backgrounds. It would behoove all of us to be very careful how we characterize other team's players since most college basketball teams are demographically the same in many ways.
I do however disagree with the notion that the actions of one person reflects poorly on the whole fan base. I am all about personal responsibility and I happen to think the uttered phrase reflects poorly on the person who said it. I have also been pretty adamant about my position that we should do less in the way of generalizing our rivals and reasonably assume that there will always be a few among us who really ought to keep their mouths shut or as I stated this morning on the 850 the Buzz blog:
If you deployed mics all around the Dean Dome, RBC and Cameron you would find similar reprehensible comments equally among the three area fan bases. Thus the great hypocrisy that arises between rival fan bases and political parties when we rip someone else for being, well just like someone in your own group.
So over the next few hours(or days) if you read the work from our rivals you will find plenty of contempt and accusations of how classless UNC fans are because one person near an ABC microphone decided the best way to express their frustration with UNC losing was to deride the Maryland team that basically just handed the Heels their lunch. I am sure she is not alone in her "opinion" just as Tar Heel fans as a group are not alone in that we have our own segment of fans who lack the class or intelligence to interact with the world in a civil manner.
So feel free to deride the comment for the disgusting shot that it was and even the person who said, but spare me the wider characterization of the whole fan base. There is only so much hypocrisy I can handle.