West Michigan’s OK Conference Bans ‘USA’ Chant From Sporting Events
Gone are the days of hearing the chant 'U-S-A, U-S-A' in West Michigan. At least at high school sporting events.
West Michigan's OK Conference has made the decision to ban the chant after a photo of some Forest Hills Central students went viral. In the photo, the students are seen holding up a Trump flag, and also an older version of the United States flag with only thirteen stars on it. That older U.S. flag has sometimes been associated with white supremacist groups.
The Commissioner of the conference, Jim Haskins, told WZZM-13 that it isn't meant to be unpatriotic:
It's nothing unpatriotic that we're trying to do that the OK Conference really believes in being patriotic with all of our kids and so on, but what happens is that some of the kids go and use that as a demeaning put down, a derogatory type of cheer.
Under the new rule, the 'U-S-A' chant will still be allowed directly following the national anthem.
The OK conference encompasses pretty much all of West Michigan and includes seven sub-conferences, OK-Red, OK-Blue, OK-Gold, OK-Black, OK-Green, OK-White, and OK-Silver.