I have a confession to make. As much as I love my kids, I don’t like going to their sports games. It has nothing to do with the kids. It has everything to do with the parents.
A few weeks ago, a dad from one of our school’s teams was ejected for yelling at the umpire. The coach was also suspended. Did I mention these are fifth grade boys?
And then this weekend I was reminded of why I don’t enjoy these games once again. I was at my son, Alex’s, baseball game–also fifth graders. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, especially since Alex single-handedly turned a double play. But the other team was good. The game was not going our way, and the score reflected it. Soon, parents on our bench got mouthy, calling the other team un-Christian for continuing to score. Some of us parents tried to calm the situation, but to no avail.
The other team called a timeout with our runners on base. They all huddled at the mound for a brief meeting. We thought little of it. Time in was called, our runner took his lead, the pitcher prepared to throw–or so we thought–and lo and behold the third baseman tug out our runner. They had called a trick play as payback, they later admitted. Legal? Yes. Necessary? Debatable.
In the end, the only losers in this situation were the kids. Kids who work really hard to learn the fundamentals, do their best and play a game they love.
This situation began with a charge of un-Christian behavior. In the end, it provided a concrete example of it for our kids on both benches. Come on, parents. Surely, we can do better than this to provide our kids with a good example, both on and off the field.