By: Dylan Sayo
Imagine looking forward to playing a game knowing you have “home court advantage”. Being able to play in front of a supportive crowd of your peers and fellow FHCI students is quite exciting. As a matter of fact, it can encourage one person or a team to perform better. However, what makes having a home game an advantage without the support of a bigger audience?
As some of you may know already, FHCI was banned from having students watch home games due to an incident that occurred in mid-December, where one of the students at FHCI made a homophobic remark to the opposing team during a home game. Of course, homophobia is not acceptable by any means. FHCI is a welcoming and safe zone for students and staff, and all members of the school do not want to be represented in the lines of discriminatory or unsafe.
Unfortunately, the poor choice of one student led to consequences for the supporters of FHCI sports games as well as the athletes. I for one was disappointed on what had happened, as well as on the penalty we all had to face. The boy’s basketball team as well as the girl’s volleyball season were impacted the most during this time. Mid season, all teams experienced the awkward silences during home games as well as the occasional applause from family members of the athletes. As a member of the senior boy’s basketball team, I can say that playing without a crowd shouldn’t be an excuse for the result of a loss. Nonetheless, it is beneficial to have a crowd because it brings the needed pressure to give the fans what they want, as well as getting the team hyped up. It also can be a disadvantage to the visiting team knowing that there are people watching their every move. I remember being on the court during our first home game since the incident playing against North Toronto C.I., and a referee approached me and asked where all the fans were. After telling him about the ban, he said, “That’s a shame, the crowd is the best thing about coming to the games.”
Recently, the ban has been uplifted and students can now resume cheering on the athletes at FHCI home games.
Despite whether the penalty of banning student attendance to home games rather than banning the one or a few students was necessary, it is important to remember that we must always be on our best behaviour when representing our school. We need to understand that such behaviour is unacceptable and that whenever we say things, think twice because anyone could be listening.