Editorial: Adults must act better at youth sports events

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have youth sporting events without any adults?

It would be for the kids, that’s for sure.

Why? We don’t know how to act.

For the second – or is it the third time – extra security was called for a Davie youth football game on Saturday. This time, it was some sort of dispute between a coach and a league official. Before, it was bad attitudes – yelling and threatening – among fans at the game. That one even went into the parking lot.

Also recently, an Ellis Middle School football game was halted before it was over because of the melee going on in the stands. A man was arrested this time.

Across the country, we routinely hear of violence at youth sporting events, none of it ever started by the youth actually playing the sport. Sometimes it is directed at officials, or coaches, but too often it is among folks in the stands. Neither is acceptable.

It’s OK to shout for your team. It’s OK to stomp your feet and make a lot of noise. It’s OK to shout encouragement to your favorite players.

But it’s never OK to yell at another fan. We have sheriff’s officers at just every game here; let them know and handle it, and accept the consequences.

We love our children and would do anything for them. But we sometimes forget that setting an example of good behavior is the right route.

We have to do better. Our children deserve it. If we don’t, we’re just creating the next generation of adults with bad behavior.

– Mike Barnhardt