Skip to content

Punishing the athletes does not solve the issue

The punishment of athletes does not fit the crime, says Weyburn Review editor Greg Nikkel

Weyburn Comprehensive students seem to once again be the victims of an unfair decision meant to “punish” those who act badly.

An unfair decision that hurt students happened before, only it was blamed on COVID, namely the cancellation of the 2021 Christmas band concert, causing much anger and hurt as the decision targetted music students unfairly.

The claim that public safety was the reason held no water, because the school had just seen the performance of the Matilda Jr. musical, plus a senior girls basketball performance had just taken place.

Fast forward to 2022 with no COVID restrictions to screw up everyone’s lives. This time, the historic McLeod Series of basketball games between Weyburn and Estevan has been cancelled, with the excuse cited of bad behaviour by some unnamed people.

The main ones who are hurt here, and really the only ones, are the members of the senior boys and senior girls basketball teams at Weyburn and Estevan.

This series has run successfully since it was established in 1932, with only a break taken in the 1970s due to some bad behaviour and bad blood between the rival cities.

It seems that this has again been cited as the reason for cancelling the McLeod Series for 2023.

In a post on the Weyburn Comp’s Facebook page, and curiously not on the Estevan Comp’s site, it was stated that harassment and threatening behaviour, both during the games and after, on school grounds and off, had raised concerns about continuing with the series this year.

These are legitimate concerns, but punishing the players by taking away the competition is not exactly going to solve the problem. What about the perpetrators?

A longtime former teacher, Bob King, who coached some of the teams during his time in Weyburn, pointed out that the McLeod Series meant more to the players than even playoffs at provincials did.

For the Grade 12 players on the girls and boys teams, they are losing their last opportunity to compete in this historic series, although thankfully other basketball games in tournaments and the upcoming playoffs are not being cancelled (yet).

A suggestion made by some of the many people who have commented and expressed outrage at this decision was to close the games to the public and let the players play, then post the results afterward.

This would make a lot more sense than just outright cancelling the series. It was bad enough the series was cancelled due to COVID, but only a couple years later to cancel it because of “high emotions” is an overreach.

To put it another way, the punishment of the athletes does not fit the crime. 

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks