Overactive imaginations of people with far too much time to chirp on social media are on full display with the K-State marching band non-controversy.
A dose of reality to put the absurdity into perspective: People are busy posting their thoughts about a Jayhawk formation the band made during Saturday night’s football game. Some contend that the KU mascot appeared to perform a sex act. The accusation went viral.
K-State’s president jumped to apologize. The Big 12 chastised. The beloved band director got suspended for an upcoming game. A $5,000 fine was imposed. Students reacted; a GoFundMe account quickly raised more than twice that.
All for a formation that didn’t register as anything controversial by many who saw the band’s performance.
Meanwhile, earlier in the weekend, several K-State students were held up at gunpoint in a series of robberies near campus. What? Missed that news in the hubbub?
The robberies preceded a four-hour lockdown of the campus last Friday.
The Riley County Police Department is still actively pursuing leads in the case but has made no arrests, said Lt. Greg Steere. The five robbery victims, one woman and four men, were all 21 or 22 years old.
Steere said that crime occurs in spurts in Manhattan but that it is unusual to have that many possibly connected incidents in one night. The fact that a gun was used in two of the robberies should keep everyone on alert. Police believe the same two men committed all the robberies. No one, thankfully, was injured. At least not physically.
Mental trauma is another matter. Physical force was used in one of the robberies, which netted mostly cash and cellphones. And a handgun was put to the side of the head of one young man and his wallet taken.
The university reacted appropriately when police chased one possible suspect onto the campus early Friday morning. A text alert went out with the directive to stay inside. And the all clear was given after police had scoured the campus.
If there is to be anxiety around the K-State campus, focus it where the effort is more important. Like keeping people aware of the possibility of gun-wielding robbers and encouraging young people to walk in groups and to always be aware of their surroundings.
Just let the K-State nationally recognized band march on, unscathed by silly Internet banter.