For years, the University community has been told to “Give it. Get It. Expect Respect.” Football players are not exempt.
What happened at Spartan Stadium on Saturday was unacceptable. Never mind the team’s performance. Planting a sharp object into the grass at an away game before the game and refusing to shake hands with the opposing team after a loss are just plain wrong, and more so because Michigan State is a rival. The football program represents the University of Michigan, both the institution and the people associated with it. The massive show of disrespect on Saturday is a black eye for us all.
When I was in East Lansing this past weekend, Spartan fans treated me with nothing but kindness (and a lot of harmless teasing). Even when I was at that school down south, inside the stadium for the rivalry game a few years ago, the Buckeye fans were pretty nice. Yes, every school has a few fans who are complete jerks, and maybe I was just lucky in avoiding them, but it may be time that the team took a few hints from its rivals’ better fans.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he was “not fully aware” of what happened. Be more aware and hold the team accountable for its actions. That’s the head coach’s job!
I know you’re better than this, Michigan Football. On behalf of many, many Michigan fans, I apologize for the team’s actions. It would be extremely disappointing if an apology from Coach Hoke does not follow soon.
Charles Zhou is a second-year Master’s student in the School of Public Health.