Or, any other place where their kids are playing a sport.
Why you ask?
It’s because instances where “adults” throw disparaging comments at children are becoming more common and it has to stop.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had people relay incidents where parents on the other team have been less than kind towards players. Those incidents have involved parents swearing on players as young as 14. I’m sure if you hang out at games where players are younger than that, you’ll hear the same thing.
It’s a sad state that we’re even talking about this and that it continues to be a problem at the various sporting venues in the province. Especially since governing bodies like Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador have instituted mandatory respect in sport training for parents and the like.
Hockey gets a bad rap when it comes to this sort of thing. It’s probably has to do with this country’s obsession with the sport. But, this sort of behaviour from parents extends to the soccer pitch, basketball court, softball field and any other venue.
Parents behaving badly is an epidemic.
If a kid makes a basket and you drop the ‘f-bomb’ on him as a middle-aged man, you do not belong in the gymnasium. You have no right to be anywhere near a child’s sporting event, even if it’s your own kid.
Look, if a coach has to shout from his bench at you, you’ve made a mistake. It means you’ve lowered yourself to a level below that of dirt.
It means you don’t deserve the right to call yourself a fan. A fan is there to enjoy the game and show support for their team.
Paying $2 to get into an event, doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk.
Hands up, how many of these kids are going to get anywhere close to the show? The answer is not very many, so chill out a bit.
In the end, it’s just a game. You involved your kid in sport because you want them to learn what the game teaches. Sport is there to teach healthy living, the benefits of being active, sportsmanship, respect — there’s that word again — and how to be a good teammate.
It isn’t there to make kids into professional athletes. Sure, that’s a byproduct of working hard, having some talent and getting a couple of breaks along the way.
If you registered your kid in sports because you want to be able to call yourself the parent of a superstar, leave now. Get out.
There’s no room for you here. Especially if you spend your time in the rink calling down children.
Sometimes, adults can be more like children than they realize.
Sometimes, you have to wonder who the real children are.
Nicholas Mercer is a reporter/photographer with The Compass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org