A Michigan high school has been banned from chanting "U.S.A." except after the national anthem because some students have used the chant as an insult.
The OK Conference, which is a state-wide organization responsible for upholding good sportsmanship in high school sports, had to step in and put a stop to the rude usage of the U.S.A. chant at sports games.
NBC affiliate Wood TV reports that students were chanting "U.S.A." during games to tell their opponents, "U Suck A**." The derogatory chant began at the college level and eventually began showing up at high school basketball games in West Michigan in 2015.
OK Commissioner Jim Haskins sent a statement to a number of schools in order to put a stop to this type of behavior. Now, fans can only chant "U.S.A." right after the national anthem as a sign of respect for the country.
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“The USA chant came into discussion with both the AD Pres. and The Executive Board this week," the statement reads, according to Wood TV. "It was approved by both groups that the chant should ONLY be used after the playing of the National anthem to salute our country. Any other time during the contest this chant, with different meanings for the USA letters, are demeaning and prohibited."
Most students have employed the chant after the opposing team makes a mistake and it is meant as an insult, according to WXMI.
“[The rule is] not unpatriotic. It’s just trying to keep everything square away with everyone,” Haskins said to Wood TV, adding that there is a similar ban in place in Wisconsin.
Students in West Michigan have also caused controversy by waving a Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" flag during a game alongside a Betsy Ross American flag, which is commonly used by white supremacy groups because that iteration of the flag was used when slavery was legal in the U.S.
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The OK Commission again put a stop to that behavior by reminding students of a rule that states "signs, flags, banners, chants, cheers or promotional material that carry questionable implications or are degrading are prohibited," according to Wood TV.