UNITED STATES – It is summer in the United States, a time where the competitive all star cheerleading industry hits reset after a long and trying competitive season. The reality is that while we’re not competing or perfecting new choreography, we are in fact never in an “off season”. Currently, most of the industry is experiencing the valley or calm in life as an all star cheerleader, coach, or parent of an all star cheerleader. Without fail, the summer lends itself nicely to rumors because frankly everyone is bored. The most recent rumor gaining traction regarding Prohibited Team Names, places blame on the governing body of our sport.
While we are fortunate to live in our protected ‘all star cheerleading’ world, people everyday are facing crisis. A crisis that arguably is approaching the pandemic level. It is very easy to feel immune to the world of gun violence that has become synonymous with the United States and our educational institutions. The reality is that we are not immune and members of our community are not immune to the heinous acts that our country has faced over the last months, years, and decades.
Rumor: “the USASF really just outlawed any team names relating to guns??”
Here’s the truth..
While it’s easy to blame the governing body, which the industry seems to do so often, the USASF did not “outlaw” or “prohibit” any team names relating to guns. While it is true that some organizations did receive correspondences making them aware of a letter that was sent regarding the references to guns as part of their theming and team names, the email expressed an opinion. The concerned parent’s email cited the climate of the current world, and the casual association of guns and weaponry as part of our cheer-world realm. The letter was shared with some organizations to make them aware. The letter was shared without any prescriptions to remedy concerns, nor did it make demands or outline prohibited team names.
Any changes to a program’s team names were made on their own accord. In speaking to some gym owners, they were very candid in the fact that they were making adjustments to be respectful in light of the letter which expressed concerns, and to make everyone feel more comfortable given the current climate of the world.
While it is easy to sensationalize and purport blame on one party, we must remember to be vigilant in the things that we say. There will be no further updates or clarifications on this topic.