Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fußball!

I have to say the soccer team didn't think this one through very well.
Sensitivity training has been ordered for a high school soccer team that broadcast part of a Nazi speech over the public address system before a game.

The North Carolina High School Association on Wednesday also placed the boy's soccer team at Forestview High School on probation for a year. An assistant coach and a player were suspended for one game.
Sensitivity training is no joke. If it's anything like the mandatory "Diversity Training" found in large multi-national companies (oh, like the one I'm in, maybe?), these kids will want to stab themselves in the eyes repeatedly before it's over.

At this point in their lives sensitivity training is a waste of time. These kids have pretty much codified their value systems by now. Including things like bigotry, which is what this sensitivity training is supposed to combat. These types of values --morality, ethics, tolerance; call it what you will --need to be introduced at a much younger age. And if it's not reinforced by the parents, or worse yet, negated by them, this type of exercise is pretty much useless.

However, I do wonder if this was truly a "Nazi" thing. Perhaps they Googled their team motto On To Victory and this speech by Goebbels came up. The Germans of the time (especially Hitler) were electrifying speakers. These kids may have been attracted to the sheer energy of the speech, looking at it as a way to charge up the team. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt; given the state of education these days, I'd give long odds to any of them actually understanding German.


What they did was stupid and ill considered. Whether malice was intended or not, they have been punished for their actions. Which is as it should be. Whether or not the sensitivity training takes hold, we can be assured they have learned at least one lesson: people will hold you accountable for your actions regardless of motive.

On To Victory is kind of a lame, kitschy slogan. But it is better than their first choice:

Arbeit Macht Frei.