There is a brouhaha brewing over some trash talk attributed to the Celtics’ Kevin Garnet. Former Raptor and current Detroit Piston, Charlie Villanueva, who suffers from alopecia universalis, a skin disorder, claims that Garnet called him “a cancer patient” during a recent game. While the Celtics star denies the charge, he did release this statement: “I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villaneueva was in fact, ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league’.”
You can make your own judgment on this, but if I were a betting man, my money would be on the guy with the shorter sentence. Beyond this, though I’ve never understood the impulse to talk trash; it just seems so completely counter-productive. Surely calling someone a name or questioning his manhood does nothing other than rile him up, and that would seem to be the last thing a competitor would want to do.
I cringe when fans chant “scoreboard” or “over-rated” at the opposition for the very same reason.
There are, of course, more important reasons for refraining from this kind of behaviour – whether it’s the Golden Rule, the Code of the Gentleman, or the basic human impulse towards decency. But if these, more lofty rationales don’t resonate, you’d think we’d all just agree that taunting is beyond bad manners.
The next time your team wins a big game, you might be tempted to join in on a rousing chorus of “Kiss Him Good Bye.” But I’d think twice before stretching my vocal chords. That team getting on the bus will be back some day. And on that great day, there may be a different song to be sung.