Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback who is gearing up for a playoff game this Saturday at the Arizona Cardinals, waxed poetic this week on freedom of speech and chanting at sporting events.
The debate stems from the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association's ban of chants in high school sporting events. the WIAA says chants like "air-ball," "score-board" and "U-S-A U-S-A" are offensive and now against the rules.
Yes, that's totally insane.
Rodgers agrees, saying these chants are all in good fun and they are a part of sports.
Yet Rodgers does believe some chants can be fouls, including messages that target racial minorities and gay people.
"I don't agree with any type of racist or homophobic language, any of that type of stuff from the crowd to the people on the field. But ‘scoreboard' and ‘air ball' and ‘fundamentals,' which is a great chant?" Rodgers said, according to ESPN's Jason Wilde, in defending innocuous chants that focus on the game in front of them.
We at Outsports have been critical of Rodgers for not making supportive statements of the LGBT community as he distances himself from rumors about his own sexual orientation that have wondered for a few years if he is gay. This is a great step forward for him, acknowledging the damage that can be done to young gay kids by hearing so many people chant epithets and other anti-gay language.
So yes, Kevin Ramsell, this is me saying to Aaron Rodgers: Thank you for publicly taking this position!