by HANNAH JOHNSTON
I would call it the most controversial debate at our school, but it seems everyone believes the same thing – cheer is not a sport.
If you would have asked me my freshman year of cheer if it was a sport, my answer would have been a resounding yes. It did not matter what you had to say about it, to me, cheer was a sport. But now, after three years of constantly being told “cheer is not a sport” and seeing tweets stating how much “our cheer team sucks” and being told to sit down when they announced the cheer team as a sport at the winter rally, I no longer stand up for it.
A sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which a team competes against another for entertainment. Does cheer involve physical exertion? Yes. Does it require skill? Well, can you lift a person in the air or balance on someone’s hands while they are moving? No, we do not compete. No, some people may not find our performances entertaining.
Cheer may not be a sport, and just as I respect your right to your opinion, shouldn’t you respect the cheer team? When the football team loses a game do you tweet about how much they sucked? When the basketball, volleyball, or swim team is not victorious do you knock them down? No. Just because you do not see cheer as a sport does not mean the team deserves to be bullied. Yes, our team makes mistakes when we perform and yes, sometimes girls fall, but that does not mean our team deserves so much hate.
Every single person has the right to their own opinion. At our high school, cheer may not be seen as a sport, but each member of the cheer team is held up to the same standards as other athletes. We must participate in weight training, maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher, be at practice, and participate in games and other functions. The cheer team may not gain your approval, but we do deserve respect, just as every other team and athlete is given.