Let me begin by saying I love Mizzou sports. I go to as many football games as possible, and I always stay until the end. So of course I am upset by the loss to South Carolina on Saturday. I am more upset about a much bigger issue that I saw at the game, however. Although this was just one game, it is something that I have noticed at every single game, and it's time for someone to speak up.
This past Saturday a lot of people around me felt the need to point out that our kicker, Andrew Baggett, has a last name that rhymes with "faggot." As the game neared the end, the slurs only grew. Now some people may not see the point in this. It's all fun and games, right? What many fail to realize is that referring to our kicker as a "faggot" is homophobic. Implying that his ability to play football is lessened because his last name sounds like a word used to describe a sexual orientation is homophobic.
Meanwhile others felt the need to make fun of the South Carolina mascot, the Gamecocks. One guy referred to the team and their fans as "cocksuckers". Another stated that the referee like to suck "cock". These terms were repeated multiple times throughout the game.
Whether fans realize it or not, homophobic language like this exists at every football game at Faurot Field, and not one person speaks up. It's time for students and fans to stop the ignorance. It makes our school look bad, and it sends the wrong message. The fans who use this language may not intend to offend anyone, but that is not an excuse. I promise that your precious football will not be ruined by the elimination of homophobic slurs. Let's address this issue and move on. If you hear this language, speak up. If you use this language, shut up. I want to be able to go to a football game without hearing these irrational comments, and you should too.
— Austin Fortner, email@example.com
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