A group of college students at Webster University in Missouri had their feelings hurt because a billboard advertising the school focuses on two members of the chess team dressed as if they’re about to play a more physical game. The grumpy student athletes took to Twitter to vent their feelings and the results make for a bizarre and interesting read.
The billboard is placed along I-70 in Missouri after a series of six billboards placed by the University of Missouri-Columbia which feature achievements by that school’s sports programs. The Webster billboard was intended as a humorous comment to show the differences between the schools.
Webster athletes didn’t get the joke. You can follow along with the hashtag #WUBillboard. Here are a few of our favorites:
Chess is not a sport pic.twitter.com/8IOlXRwwVb
— Katie Aubuchon (@kn_aubuchon) October 31, 2013
I’m not an athlete and I feel disrespected by #WUBillboard.
— State of Tara (@tarajgraves) November 5, 2013
— AirynMiller (@AirBear_15) November 5, 2013
— Adam Jones (@Adam_Bomb19) November 5, 2013
“Its like the university has 8 children then adopt a 9th orphan and give it all the love” #WUBillboard
— Kristin Montgomery (@kmontyy) November 4, 2013
At best, the argument against the billboard seems to be that saying the chess team is good also means saying all the sports are bad. At its worst, it comes across as a bunch of petty athletes who are jealous that they didn’t get to be on a billboard.
It’s also important to mention here that the Webster University chess team is great. They won the 2013 President’s Cup National College Chess Championship, and they did that through hard work and actively recruiting excellent chess players from around the world. It’s a big deal for the school, and obviously an accomplishment they should be proud of.
College sports get a lot of recognition in our culture. Chess, not so much. That’s why we think it’s ridiculous that this billboard has caused so much outrage among the Webster athletics community who decry the billboard as an example of their school not supporting them, all while they themselves are actively not supporting the chess team.
College isn’t all about sports, so pipe down and let the chess team have their moment. Or maybe go win a championship of your own if you’d like more recognition, or maybe get good enough to join the chess team.
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