The term 'sledging' has well and truly entered the GAA lexicon this week. Before there was an actual name for it, getting under your opponents skin was just an accepted, some might say integral, part of the game. However, the aftermath of Donegal vs Tyrone las weekend has been the analysis of just how nasty some of this sledging can be.
Most fans might see it as nothing more than words, but according to former Donegal star Brendan Devenney, it can become much more than simply that. According to the Examiner, Devenney has relayed the story of a Donegal minor player who was subjected to taunts about his deceased father during a match.
I heard back from a very good source that one Donegal minor, who lost his father to cancer, was taunted about that during a game. That would turn your stomach.
There is the mental health element here and are players able to take what is being said to them? What must that minor have been thinking after the game?
Devenney has agreed with many commentators who have said the cynicism of the game in Ulster has reached dangerous levels. It's difficult to say that this example of sledging is indicative of Ulster football in general. However, when you hear such stories such as this one, it really does not portray gaelic football in a positive light.