First there were “free speech zones” and now in an effort to be more politically correct than anyone could have ever imagined, the ASU Athletics Department is banning face paint. A message was sent to students of the “inclusive and forward-thinking university” asking them to enjoy the next football game but avoid the paint.
The message reads:
“As an inclusive and forward-thinking university, it is important for us to foster an environment in which everyone feels safe and accepted. Therefore, we discourage the use of face paint at any event, whether the theme is black, maroon, gold or white, and ask our fans to show their Sun Devil Pride in other ways.”
We appreciate our fans’ desire to show school spirit and support all of our varsity athletics programs. Our fans have played, and will continue to play, an integral part in the success of our teams, and their dedication has created one of the best home field advantages in the nation.
We look forward to working with all of Sun Devil Nation on continuing to show our support in ways that all of us can appreciate and embrace.”
According to an article in the University’s newspaper, face paint became a matter of concern when a student wore blackface to a recent blackout football game. The paint “outraged members of the Black and African Coalition, and they are helping write a bill to be presented to Tempe Undergraduate Student Government that will prevent insensitive incidents like these from happening in the future.”
The State Press reported that the Black and African Coalition President Kyle Denman said the photo showed insensitivity and ignorance.
“The historical context of blackface is that it is demeaning to the African-American culture,” Denman told the State Press. “It doesn’t show school spirit; it represents cultural insensitivity at the end of the day.”
Not everyone shared Denman’s view. Former Sun Devil Eddie Grant appeared to hastily write on Facebook: “Uhhhh….being a long time Sun Devil, I doubt any blackface student being present at a blackout game (indicating the color of the team uniform on that given evening) is attempting to ignight an issue other than…..im guessing school spirit. At UCLA in 2013 ASU football wore all white. Representitive alumni dressed acccordingly. Should white students be offended? How about our new Anthricite unifirms? Should grey students be offended while honoring our mining efforts of the state. In the end, its not the colors that are offensive. Its the attitude of those who take meaningless aspects of a school event and force an irrelevant issue. The stripes on the football field are white. Should I take offense to that. I dont…but I guess I could if I wanted. If its a Maroon Monsoon will Native Americans think thats redface and complain. Heaven forbid some students wear whiteface. Can you imagine the outcry from the caucasion community….Nope, neither can I…..”