The Dixie State University men’s basketball team’s win against Brigham Young University-Hawaii Feb. 11 wasn’t the only thing that had students talking; the T-shirts handed out at the game are also getting some attention.
At first glance, the shirts seem normal: classic Dixie State University colors in showing school spirit. The last line on the front of the shirt is what’s the problem: “Give ‘em the D.”
Is the DSU staff so ignorant that it doesn’t understand the sexual connotation in that message? If that’s the case, it is painfully clear that whoever made the final decision about the shirts can’t read between the lines. Is it possible that the staff knew exactly what it was doing when it chose the design for the shirts? It’s possible but hard to imagine a phrase like that being accepted in the conservative community that surrounds DSU.
While some students (and probably faculty, too) found the shirts hilarious and clever, others might not be as thrilled. Not only does the phrase imply sex, a topic that’s practically taboo in the DSU community, but it also implies sex in a forceful and unpleasant way. The image of a victorious DSU win is now tainted with a phrase that some argue implies rape.
The Dixie Sun News’ sex column, “Erotic Topic,” was taken out of the publication by staff writer Katie McKeller because a high number of students didn’t want to read about safe sex or sex in general. Why is giving someone the “D” acceptable? As students who attend games and have Dixie pride, we want our teams to win, of course. However, the shirts could have had something more mature, straight-forward and supportive of the team printed on them.
Disregarding the fact that the phrase has sexual connotations attached, it also doesn’t build up our team at all; rather, it simply degrades our opponent. That’s bad sportsmanship.
The individual responsible for printing the shirts needed to realize “Give ‘em the D” was not acceptable or appropriate for the setting. Let’s hope that next time DSU can keep it classy, not trashy.