Are you a die-hard Vikings fan eager to throw shade towards the arriving band of Eagles fans?  Are there times when you find yourself surrounded amongst other die-hard Vikings fans and all you can discuss is how annoying, intolerable, and toxic Eagles fans can be?

If you are shaking your head “yes” to the questions above, by understanding the benefits of tolerance, the different practices of tolerance, and the importance of tolerance, you will be one step closer to ensuring an eventful, yet peaceful Super Bowl experience for all.

As the Vikings met a devastating defeat against the glorified Eagles last Sunday evening, several Vikings fans are bracing for the worst as hordes of Eagles fans swarm into the state of Minnesota. In an article from the New York Post, author Joshua Miller discovered a 2015 poll through Sports Illustrated that “The Eagles had the ‘Most Hated Fan Base’ in the entire NFL.”

My parents once told me that one should not judge another based on a single incident. For example, if you are walking to class and a person brushes past you as they’re running, knocks down the books you are carrying, and doesn`t stop to help you pick them up, maybe stop and think about how that person`s day is going. For all you know, they could be late to a class, first date, or special event.

In her article, “The Positive Benefits of Being More Tolerant”, Susan Leigh explains how tolerance “is about respect” and how all individuals should practice showing respect to others as they would show respect to themselves (Leigh).

Looking back at the previous scenario, by utilizing the practice of tolerance, the overall situation can be dealt with in a calm manner. At WSU, the presence of tolerance and respect is frequently noticeable by faculty, staff, and students. WSU practices a significant amount of inclusion and respect for a variety of individuals regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status.

One way to practice inclusion on our campus would be starting a wholesome conversation with an international student who is sitting by themselves at lunch, for example. Not only are you being a kind individual but you will most likely find out intriguing facts about their home life, culture, and personal interests.

I remember in my English 111 class my freshman year of college, I sat next to an international student from Japan. At first, I felt skeptical of being next to them since I held the notion that international students ignored American students. After a few weeks passed by in the class, I decided one day to extend a welcoming handshake and introduce myself. To this day, I am still friends with the international student.

While some may view tolerance as “a waste of time” or “fake façade”, the practice of tolerance as well as inclusion is crucial to our developing society. In his article, “Importance of Tolerance”, Laiq Atif states how the extinction of tolerance will bring episodes of hatred (Atif). In his own words, “Without tolerance and harmony the lasting peace of societies cannot be maintained, and loyalty for each other cannot be established.”

Taking Latif`s quote and tying it into the Super Bowl, if Viking`s and Eagle`s fans can`t set aside their differences and simply enjoy an entertaining game of football, then the atmosphere at U.S. Bank Stadium could become hostile, resulting in a dismal experience for all.

So, the next time you are around your posse of Vikings fans and you hear them bad mouthing Eagles fans or hear them expressing their fear of the monstrosities they will bring, take that as a teaching moment and remind your friends that they are just a group of human beings who have a taste for football. By practicing acts of tolerance and inclusion, we can build a stronger community for our campus, as well as, a fun and eventful community for fans of football at Super Bowl LII.

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Kameron Wilson

Kameron graduated in 2019 with a BA in Organizational Communications with a Creative Writing minor. He is from Eagan, MN and his interests includes poetry, film studies, pop culture, intramural sports, enjoying nature and traveling.

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