Skateboarding Not A Crime
by Justin Abell

     NO SKATEBOARDING. These signs are posted throughout most cities, but does one ever a see a NO FOOTBALL sign or a NO BASEBALL sign? No. The reason behind this is that these are sports excepted by the general public. People say that perhaps a skateboard could go flying off into a crowd and injure a bystander, but couldn’t the same thing happen with a baseball or football? Yes, and that’s why skateboarding should be looked upon as a sport just like any other sport.

     Skateboarding can cause damage to property. Street curbs are sometimes waxed for grinding and over time that curb will appear tarnished and worn. But don’t all sports come with the possibility of property being damaged. For example, a baseball through a window or a football denting the door of a car. If an individual is caught skateboarding, their board is confiscated and a $60 fine is issued. If people are throwing a ball back and forth or a child is playing a game of frisbee with his father they are not reprimanded. The reason for this is that people, who are ignorant to the sport, feel that these activities add to the goodness of the community while skateboarding diminishes its value.

     Peoples’ first opinions of skateboarders is not positive. People see a gang of kids wearing baggy clothes and immediately the word “hoodlum” pops into their heads. These individuals refuse to focus on the skill involved in the sport. There are many different tricks involved in skateboarding that take years and years of practice, and having no place to practice and constantly looking out for the police makes it even harder to master these hard tricks. Football consists of a bunch of big guys trying to hurt each other, and this is glorified. If a child picks up football he is viewed as an athlete, but why is it that when a child picks up a skateboard he is seen as a criminal?

     The world today is basically unable to provide for the needs of teenagers. A prime example of this would be a local park that offers a baseball field and open grassy areas for activities such as football, but if one looks around that park it won’t be long before their eyes rest on a NO SKATEBOARDING sign. Teenagers are generally looked upon as bad. Skateboarding should be looked upon as a blessing because it gives teens something to do. A group of teens could be out getting drunk or getting high, but no, they decide to skate - and yet they are still doing something illegal.

     The main thing that needs to happen is that skateboarding needs to be recognized as involving skill and practice just like any other sport. During the past few years skateboarding has been getting some positive feedback. Television programs on channels such as MTV and ESPN are embracing it as a sport. This recognition is great, but people still need to open their eyes and look past the opinion of the general public.

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