Bleacher Bits: Game nights should be family nights
Working as a sports reporter you hear a lot of things that not everybody else does.
Things are said on sidelines and on benches during games that are not always printable, but I chalk them up to being uttered during the heat of battle, and they go in one of my ears and out the other.
There are also things that are heard by everybody in attendance — young and old, and whether they particularly want to hear them or not — and the fact they are heard at all makes me shake my head in disbelief.
I'm talking about music that is played over public address systems while teams are warming up, or during intermissions or breaks in play.
While reporting at games in recent years, I have heard, along with everyone else at the field or in the gymnasium, song lyrics that the majority of people would find quite inappropriate.
One instance involved a halftime show where high school cheerleaders performed a routine to a Katy Perry song that included lyrics talking about a manage au trois, and another time it was a hip-hop song that repeatedly used the "N-word" derogatory to African Americans, and both times the music was at full volume.
I may or may not have grown into a prude with my advancing years, but when other people hearing the same song lyrics greet me with wide-eyed amazement and say, "Did you hear that?," I can see it bothers other people as well.
There are very young children at most of the sporting events we cover, just as there are people of one or two generations greater than the one I am a part of. They shouldn't be forced to hear what they could only avoid with a top-of-the-line pair of noise canceling headphones.
I work in an industry where "freedom of speech" is everything, but I believe there has to be some policing of what kind of music gets played for the masses. While it might be the music the current generation of teens is listening to — and I am not a fan of censorship — today's culture is also rife with technology that enables individuals to listen to whatever they want to while not potentially insulting or aggravating others.
The kids can listen to whatever they want, as long as they're listening through a set of ear buds or headphones.
A public address system does just what it says, it addresses the public.
I'd like schools to remember that "the public" is made up of people of all ages, and take steps to make sure that what is piped out over its loudspeakers to all its fans is PG-rated and family friendly.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.