Spectator Violence at Sporting Events
Throughout the entire nation we as Americans are obsessed with winning, whether it be in a war, NFL, Olympics, we must win at all costs. This attitude is even being carried over by parents onto little league fields, and junior hockey games. Many parents take the games much too serious, and often become violent towards coaches, referees, and even their own players. One instance in Reading, Mass., two parents got into an argument over the aggressive play at a hockey game. Moments later their fight broke out, and the one parent pinned the other down and punched him in the face over and over again. By the time another parent was able to pull the two apart it was too late, and the man died (Hegedus, 2001).
This outbreak of parental violence is blanketing the world of youth sports. "Coaches are being threatened; referees assaulted and kids hurt more than ever by the parents of some of the estimated 30 million young players in organized sports," (Dahlberg, 2000). Parental rage at youth sporting events is on the rise, and it will soon develop into an epidemic, and even become the norm. Our children deserve to be provided with a secure and friendly environment, in which they are able to participate in athletics. Many children don't play sports because of the fear of failure, and they don't want to disappoint their over zealous parents. "Children cannot have fun anymore; now sports are about getting into a good college, getting a scholarship, and playing professionally"(Lang 2006). Resetting parents and coaches beliefs on sportsmanship and winning, is an imperative step in bringing the fun back into sports.
The aggression at many of these youth sporting events is heartbreaking. These ten year old kids shouldn't have to watch their parents fighting, and cursing over a bad call. It is depressing to think that some parents can get so hot and bothered that they could even fathom injuring, or even killing someone...
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