New Jersey will ban trash-talking in high school sports starting this fall and could investigate individuals who violate the anti-trash-talking policy.
According to the Associated Press, “the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and the state Attorney General’s Office announced the new policy on Wednesday,” and high school athletes “could be in trouble if they make harassing statements related to gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or religion. Referees would also be required to report incidents for possible further investigation.”
Acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman told the Post-Courier: “High school sports should be about building character and instilling life-lessons about grace, courage, teamwork, and adversity. Sometimes, we lose sight of those lessons on the field and in the stands.”
He added, “I thank the coalition for bringing the issue to our attention, and the NJSIAA for taking steps to address an important concern. We stand ready to work with both groups to ensure compliance with the new rules, going forward.”
According to the Post-Courier, “under NJSIAA sportsmanship rules, any student-athlete or coach who is cited before, during or after an interscholastic event for unsportsmanlike and flagrant verbal or physical misconduct will be disqualified from participating in the next two regularly scheduled events, or in the case of football, disqualified from the next game.”
Now, the conduct will also be reported to “the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and may result in further investigation.”