New Jersey high school athletes who talk trash could find their teams penalized and themselves under investigation by the state Civil Rights Division.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and the state Attorney General’s Office announced the new policy for its nearly 400 schools earlier this week.
They say it brings athletic events into line with the state’s anti-bullying law for schools.
The sports policy goes into place this fall.
Participants could be in trouble if they make harassing statements related to gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or religion. Referees would also be required to report incidents for possible further investigation.
Steven Timko, executive director of the agency, said in a statement that obscene gestures, profanity or “unduly provocative language or action toward officials, opponents or spectators” also won’t be tolerated.