Opinion: LDS bashing by sports fans crosses the line

Saturday at San Diego State, BYU players and fans were exposed to a group of Aztec students, wearing missionary-like suits and white shirts, bicycle helmets and name tags. That's actually pretty funny. I say that on fairly good authority, considering I was once a missionary in San Diego and wore the same kind of suit.

And looked just as geeky.

But what wasn't funny was the part near the game's end when BYU fans chanted, "BYU Cougars!" and the hecklers responded with obscene gestures and taunts of "You're still Mormon!"

Sometimes there's a thin line whether it's BYU or the LDS Church that's being vilified, but either way, BYU is well acquainted with such treatment. I covered BYU games at Wyoming in the '80s when large portions of the crowd chanted, "(Expletive) you, BYU!"

It may not have been directed at Mormons, but for the players I talked to, it sure felt like it.

In 1995, when Roger Reid was coaching the Cougars, a Colorado State fan approached from several rows behind the BYU bench to scream obscenities and religious taunts at Reid. In that case, CSU did the right thing, removing the fan from the arena.

No such move was attempted by SDSU security on Saturday.

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