There has been considerable indignation in the social media over former BYU player Vai Sikahema, a popular Philadelphia sports anchor, appearing on Twitter, flashing the “U” sign with Holly Rowe of ESPN and Ute coach Kyle Whittingham.
I’m not saying it wasn’t annoying to Cougar fans. But it’s not a federal case.
Sikahema played college ball at BYU with Kyle Whittingham. In posing for the picture, he was showing encouragement to his friend and former teammate. I’m guessing Sikahema might pose if someone asked him to do so at almost any other college, just being a good guy.
One could argue that flashing the “U” sign was pushing the envelope. But Sikahema is a true BYU fan; he attends numerous Cougar games. He has spoken there at devotionals. I’ve heard him often express his loyalty to the school on the radio, and predict the Cougars would beat Utah in their rivalry games.
But he also is a Whittingham fan. It’s not unlike an acquaintance of mine who is a hard core BYU fan. But when her brother ended up playing at Utah, she suspended her total fandom for a few years — long enough for her brother to graduate.
She never stopped cheering for BYU. It’s just that she cheered for Utah, too.
Loyalty to a school is great for former players. That shouldn’t preclude loyalty to a decades-long friend. I say give Sikahema a break.