On Monday night our city's third grade girls’ softball team played a neighboring city's team. The Mother of Five took #4 of 5 (a player on the team), along with #5 of 5 and #3 of 5. I was running errands, and was headed to the softball game after picking up #2 of 5 from a Boy Scout meeting.
While I myself am not one, I become accustomed to, and have no issue with this phenomenon (to a certain degree). If you want to shout out to your daughter or your team, who am I to say you should not. Personally, I am one of the "silently proud" parents.
As I took my seat in the bleachers next to my wife I noticed she happened to be seated (along with #5 of 5) next to the “enthusiastic” male and female. I settled in for a “loud” game (as I frequently have to – enthusiastic parents are pretty common). After numerous unusually loud cheers for their team, I turned to my wife, and gave her the “What’s up with that” look.
The Mother of Five then leaned over and whispered to me that on several instances - the male counterpart of this couple took his “enthusiasm” beyond what I would expect to or want to hear from spectators at a third grade girls softball game.
Remember folks… This is a game intended to be fun for third grade girls.
I was told that the male half (hereafter referred to as a “man-child”) was overheard calling our coach a “b---h” (i'll let you fill in the missing i, t, and c) on more than one occasion, and that when the woman he was with (hereafter referred to as the “crazed-female”) told him to “Shush” - he made it clear that he did not care who heard.
Had I been present at the time, I would have politely asked him to refrain from such behavior, and to try and exhibit a little more maturity and decorum for the sake of the young children present - which I fully expect would have induced a profanity laden tantrum of epic proportions - followed with me contacting the local authorities to have him removed - thus solving the problem...
While he may not care - I on the other hand do. I take exception to having my six year old daughter (sitting less than five feet from this "man-child") have his little tantrum. I also care about nine year old girls (players from BOTH teams) who have to hear spectators at their softball game yell disrespectful, profane and truly offensive language directed toward one of the coaches and / or (in this case) their own parent (since two of the girls on the team are twin daughters of the coach and their older sister is helping mom out with the caching).
After being advised of this unacceptable behavior, I became acutely aware, and was focusing more on was these two were saying rather than the game. Throughout the rest of the game I did not witness any additional (profane or disrespectful) behaviors myself, so I put the matter behind me.
Above video was taken after being made aware, and while watching for any additional problematic behaviors. As you can plainly see – they were being very enthusiastic… Nothing more.
After the game, our team's coach was told by her children (who heard this man-child call their mother a “b---h” from their seat on the bench) of what they had heard during the game.
Surprised by this, as the couple walked to their car, our team's coach (stress - politely)asked to talk to the both of them. The man-child and the crazed-female immediately became defensive, and instantly escalated the discussion by shouting and use of boisterous profanities - including numerous occasions of the use of “b---h”, various versions of “f—k” (I’ll let you fill in the missing “u” and “c”), and as icing on the cake… “c--t rag” (I’ll let you fill in the missing “u” and “n”) as well as comments directed towards her husband (who was not even present).
I stood by observing the exchange, fearful that the agitated man-child (and maybe even the crazed-female) would take this exchange to an assaultive level. I was worried for the (lone female) coach’s personal safety.
Some of you may second guess this decision... To "stand by observing" rather than jumping in and defending the coach. First off, she was already taking the high road. Her point needed no defending. It was obvious from the dialog which side was dealing with rational thinking and behaviors and which was not. I believe that my "tapping in" to this foray would have only lead to further escalation.
My "line in the sand" was if it was to became physical.
During the exchange, the man-child and crazed-female
spoke of screamed about an unspecific incident in which they claim our coach had spoken “disrespectfully” towards their team's coach. Our coach asked the couple (on numerous occasions) to share what they felt she had done or had said. She also reminded them that if they had issue with something that occurred in the game, that she would have been happy to discuss it like rational adults. Despite her numerous requests for this info, our coach was never given an answer. Instead, she was attacked with a continual barrage of ongoing and highly inappropriate name calling - laden with profanities.
It soon became evident that this exchange was becoming unproductive and going nowhere. Our team's coach started walking away, yet even as she did, the couple continued to try and bait her into further confrontation. Once she chose not to participate in this exchange, the couple finally gave up. They could be heard screaming several final instances of profane beratement through the windows of their car as they drove out of the lot.
From my perspective as a witness to the parking lot portion of what happened tonight, the man-child and crazed-female were both the instigators and perpetrators of this evening’s events.
I choose to enroll my children in the Youth Sports programs because of the positive aspects of the program. These are things like good sportsmanship, being a team player, challenging oneself, learning how to work (play) with a variety of different players from different backgrounds, conflict management, the basic rules of the game, and to have fun.
Our team's coach has been an outstanding role model for our daughter! She has demonstrated (and I have personally observed) several instances of her being a patient, and positive role model by practicing the qualities I mentioned above.
While the coach’s roll for these young girls is obvious, the parents and spectators at these games also have responsibilities to the girls - not only to their own daughters, but to the daughters and family members of those around them. Spectators (as much as the coaches and players) represent not only themselves and their families - but they also represent their respective Park and Recreation / Youth Sports programs, and the team’s city of origin.
I have had children in Youth Sports Programs since 1993. In all those years (with multiple children in multiple sports from multiple cities) I have never seen such disturbing behavior from anyone involved (coaches, players or spectators).