New Jersey Bans High School Athletes from 'Trash Talking'

| by Michael Allen
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The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and the state Attorney General's Office recently announced a new policy banning high school athletes from "trash talking" their opponents.

The policy would penalize teams who the players represent, and the players themselves could be investigated by the New Jersey Civil Rights Division.

According to the Associated Press, authorities claim the policy is in accordance with the state's anti-bullying law for schools.

Trash talk is defined in the policy as harassing comments that might include gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Game referees will essentially be acting as agents of the state by reporting students and incidents to authorities.

The new rule appears to be loaded with possible violations of the First Amendment, but no lawsuits have been filed yet.

Source: Associated Press