Education

New Jersey Adopts Some of Strictest Trash-Talking Rules for Sports

New Jersey is believed to be the first state to implement strict guidelines to clean up school athletics by banning bias language and imposing penalties for violators. Several states are considering similar steps.
September 23, 2013

Thousands of high school athletes across New Jersey are getting a new lesson in sportsmanship.

Before every game this season, referees are briefing players on tough new rules that ban taunting and baiting that can escalate into hateful speech in the heat of competition. The rules also apply to fans in the stands.

The new rules go beyond harmless trash-talking between rivals and target anyone who crosses the line with derogatory racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual slurs.

New Jersey is believed to be the first state to implement strict guidelines to clean up school athletics by banning bias language and imposing penalties for violators. Several states are considering similar steps.

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