UPDATED: UMD student cheering section offers an apology

Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey radio play-by-play voice Bruce Ciskie of Red Rock Radio has been forwarded a letter of apology, apparently from members of the UMD student section at Amsoil Arena, in response to their conduct during a home series against North Dakota on Feb. 10-11.

On Thursday, a Tweet by a UMD student is asking fellow students to sign a pledge to be more respectful at hockey games. That pledge link is here.

The letter, as posted by Ciskie:

Dear UMD faculty, staff, fellow students, and the Duluth community,

The UMD student section would like to apologize for our behavior during the Men’s Hockey games on February 10th and 11th, 2012, against the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. Some of the chants and cheers used were inappropriate. A number of the students involved have discussed the repercussions of our actions and agree that we crossed a line. As adults we recognize that it is important to take responsibility for our actions. In sports there is a fine line between cheering on your team and offending part of society. The UMD student section prides itself on being one of the loudest student sections in the WCHA. The cheers from this hockey series were meant to intimidate and poke fun at the UND nickname and hockey team, not the Sioux Tribe or any other members of the Native American community. As a student section, we are embarrassed that this situation has become more than just cheers at a hockey team. We apologize for offending any parties and wish to portray a better image, both for UMD and for Duluth.

Along with this apology to our school and fellow community members we would also like to add a pledge that these types of behaviors will not happen again. It is our responsibility to pass along what we have learned from this experience to both current and future UMD Men’s Hockey fans.

Sincerely,
The UMD Men’s Hockey Student Section

13 thoughts on “UPDATED: UMD student cheering section offers an apology

  1. This was the right thing to do and I respect the student section for their apology to UMD and Duluth, however, wouldn’t it have been appropriate to include UND and the Sioux people in your apology?

  2. Read it again, kenny, it apologized to anyone that was offended…UMD and Duluth is who they wish to portray a better image for. Good job, students.

    • The letter is addressed to UMD staff, faculty, fellow students, and the Duluth community. It was NOT directed to UND or the Sioux people.

  3. I agree…it was a very good letter of apology and included all those offended. Thank you to the students who recognized their error and for being human and mature enough to say so in public. This truly shows that the UMD student body cares about the integrity of both the university and its community.

  4. Glad they sent an apology that could be made semi-public. Also glad that they took responsibility for bad behavior and pledged to not repeat this behavior. Only criticism I have is that there is NOT a fine line between cheering your team and offending society. Those two things should be worlds apart. No need to be negative or offensive.

  5. The UMD student section is notorious for crossing the line and being offensive in their “cheers”. This wasn’t a one time thing, it has been constant for years. A few of the “cheers” I’ve heard in the past 3 years when attending the Gophers series in Duluth are :
    -”(insert goalie’s name here)’s mom’s a slut!” (repeat 4 times)
    -”Lucia’s kid is gay!” (repeat 4 times)
    -”(insert goalie’s name here)’s girlfriend’s fat!” (repeat 4 times)
    -”(Gopher player’s name) likes boys!” (repeat 4 times)

    Classy, right? I know several people in Duluth that stopped going to UMD games because of the vulgarity of the student section. Others won’t let their kids go to the games because of the new vocabulary they’ll bring home. If you think this letter of apology from 1 kid is going to change the mentality, then I have some lakefront property for you in AZ.

    • Mike,

      As John says below, our student section is not unique when it comes to crossing the line. Fans of other teams and reporters need to acknowledge that this IS NOT limited to the UMD student section and that virtually all student sections says cheers that people would consider inappropriate.

      I will add this- if you think saying a goalie’s girlfriend is fat is the same as saying Lucia’s kid is gay, you have real problems. Also, the cheer about Tony Lucia was originally “Lucia’s kid sucks!” and (according to you) the current students have modified it in a way that would not be appropriate.

      If people are no longer attending games because of the student section, then I would say they do not like hockey very much in the first place. The arena is easily large enough where you do not have to sit within ear shot of the student section (at least when it comes to the cheers you are singling out as being offensive). Those types of cheers typically are not loud enough to hear accross the arena.

      Bottom line, don’t come on here and single out the UMD student section when it appears you are a Gopher fan as you will lose your credibility. Other student sections, including the Gopher’s, cheer things that are not considered appropriate by all involved.

  6. Mike,

    All student sections cross the line. Most of the above chants are not orriginal and can be heard at hockey arenas across the WCHA (Gopers included). I think the apology is a step in the right direction and hope that the student section cleans things up. A Bulldog game without the student section would be like going to the symphony…they are the only ones cheering 98% of the time.

  7. As a lifelong Bulldog fan and alumni, I am proud of the student section for stepping up and apologizing. Every student section does it, but do they all take responsibility for their actions? No. They made a mistake and have admitted it. Move on!

  8. “The cheers from this hockey series were meant to intimidate and poke fun at the UND nickname and hockey team, not the Sioux Tribe or any other members of the Native American community.”

    Sincere apologies do not include excuses.

  9. They agreed it was wrong, said they were sorry, and it wouldn’t happen again. My family has sat close to the student section for several years. Every now and then their chants cross the line (happens in all student sections), but we’ve never considered not going or moving to a different part of the arena. If you’ve ever been to a game when the students are on break you immediately miss them. There is no better family entertainment than a UMD hockey game.

  10. Most everyone can agree the students crossed the line with a few specific chants and have offered a sufficient apology. But for the people who can’t deal with the other chants that don’t cross the line, you need to either grow some thicker skin or stay home. Most of the cheering is in good fun, and that arena is plenty big to sit away from the students if you don’t want to hear it.

    We just went to Mankato for the game this past Friday and the atmosphere was HORRIBLE. Why? Their student section was terrible. A handful of us Bulldog fans were cheering louder than the rest of the arena. Is a nice quiet game with quiet students really what people want at Amsoil? I don’t think so.

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