ColumnsOpinion

Anthony: This one time, at band camp



Band kids are often the most overlooked part of any sporting event, but they’re still always there, supporting the teams and giving the fans and players that much needed boost to morale. But what happens when those same people that they support game in and game out not only don’t support them back, but make fun of them? A twitter beef, of course.

Rob Moseley, Editor-in-Chief of GoDucks.com recently sent out a tweet that many UO band kids didn’t take too kindly.

The tweet read, “Halftime show coming up. This better be the greatest performance ever by the OMB, because we’ve had to listen to them practice outside our office all… week…. Long………..”

This is a disrespectful tweet coming from his personal Twitter account, @DuckFootball, which is followed by over 40,000 people. Even if it was just a joke, it’s in poor taste. Some random person’s twitter is one thing, and it could easily just be seen as a joke or trolling, but from a staff member of The University of Oregon, this seems like a bit much, and many of the UO students agree.

One student responded with frustration, “Band practices to support your athletes. Without the band, there wouldn’t be hype. Instead of complaining about them, you should be glad that they’re making an effort to be the backbone of your athletic teams.”

In response, Rob Moseley tweeted back that, “I could quibble with some of your points, but I won’t. I understand some feelings were hurt here, and that to some eyes, an attempt at humor fell flat.”

That tweet sounds far from an apology. This seems much more like the kind of apology where the person says, “I’m sorry that you feel that way,” and we all know how insincere those apologies truly are.

In addition, I’m curious what points he thinks he could quibble with? That the band practices to support the athletes? That there wouldn’t be hype without the band? That they make an effort to be the backbone of the team? All of those seem like pretty reasonable statements to make; why else would the band kids be out there, sometimes practicing as much as 12 hours a day?

In response to his tweet, the original responder said that the band kids, “Weren’t happy they couldn’t practice on the rec fields either,” as they were kicked off of the rec fields by the UO athletic department and forced to practice over at Autzen, where his office was. Many of the kids had to commute every day, and the tweeter said he should thank them for, “practicing so that they were good, especially with all of the incoming freshman,” as opposed to complaining about it.

Unbelievably, Rob Moseley once again tweeted back the exact same, “I could quibble with some of your points, but I won’t. I understand some feelings were hurt here, and that to some eyes, an attempt at humor fell flat.” Word for word.

In response to this second tweet, another Twitter user tweeted, “Dude, is it really that hard to apologize? You made an insensitive comment which clearly made people feel shitty and unappreciated. Swallow your pride and say sorry, not, “Sorry you misinterpreted my comment,” but, “Sorry I shouldn’t have made the comment.” This is unprofessional.

Moseley then accused both tweeters, who are students at UO, saying that, “This is the second account opened in Sept. 2018 whose first tweet is regarding this issue. Strange. Or is it…”

To me, it’s crazy that a University of Oregon staff member would tweet something out like that, and then not only not apologize when confronted, but instead attack the students on their credibility. This seems more like a twitter troll and less like a full time employee of the University of Oregon.

Obviously the second tweeter felt the same way, as he responded by saying “This is pathetic. You don’t know how to respond to criticism, so you attack the fact that I made this account to call you out. You’ve basically resorted to name calling. @Uoregon it terrifies me that the Editor in Chief of GoDucks.com doesn’t care about the impact of his words.”

Honestly, I don’t think I could possibly phrase it better or in a way that truly gets to the heart more so than those 279 characters. As a student, I’m infuriated by the lack of respect Moseley showed; the original tweet is one thing, as anyone can make a bad joke or accidentally offend someone. It’s the responses that truly get to me. And it only gets worse.

Replying to the second tweeter’s tweet, Moseley once again tweeted out the exact same robotic, unapologetic response of “I understand some feelings were hurt here, and that to some eyes, an attempt at humor fell flat.” For the third time. In a row.

The roll of UO staff members, and especially so those in the communications department, should be to communicate openly and honestly with their students, not to troll them on twitter. While the original comment was insensitive, it by itself wasn’t that bad; just a joke gone wrong. It’s the inability to admit that it may have been a mistake and apologize to those it may have disrespected.

If we can’t count on UO staff members to show respect and appreciation to student band members, who can we count on? What kind of example does that set for other students? The trope of band kids being bullied by jocks has become a reality in this instance, and by none other than a salaried editor-in-chief of the University of Oregon itself.

 

A correction was made on 10/10/2018 to change Rob Moseley’s title from “Editor-in-Chief of UO Athletics” to “Editor-in-Chief of GoDucks.com.” We also changed how his twitter account was referenced to reflect that he used his personal Twitter account as opposed to an official UO account. 


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Sammuel Anthony

Sammuel Anthony