When we sign our kids up for sports, we expect them to not only learn about the thrill of competition, but the importance of sportsmanship. We try to teach them to play hard on the field, but to behave with self-control off of it. As adults, we ideally model the appropriate behaviors we hope our kids will emulate.
We’ve heard a lot of stories in the past few years about the disgustingly aggressive behavior that some sports parents exhibit from the sidelines of their kids’ games. There are the parents that brutally heckle the opponents, scream insults at the referee, and loudly criticize the coach’s decisions. It’s been a disheartening trend- parents behaving worse than spoiled children at their kid’s sporting events.
A group of Colorado parents have just unlocked a whole new level of gross sports-parent behavior… by starting an on-field fistfight at their kids’ game. No, seriously.
A full-on brawl between adult spectators at a children’s baseball game has gone viral after the ruckus was caught on camera by an appalled onlooker and subsequently shared by the local police department.
The incident happened during a baseball game that was being played at Westgate Elementary School, between the Lakewood and Bear Creek teams… in the 7-year-old division.
Let that sink in for a moment. The players that witnessed this pathetic parent behavior are SEVEN YEARS OLD.
The boiling point occurred when some parents objected to what they felt was a bad call made by the umpire. In baseball, it happens. Umpires occasionally make bad calls, & it can be upsetting. But it’s still a reality of the game.
It’s important to note that the umpire coming under fire during this game for his “bad” call is, in fact, THIRTEEN YEARS OLD.
Several parents began yelling insults at the poor 13-year-old umpire, which is shamefully bad behavior to begin with. But it only escalated from there; the enraged adults began exchanging verbal barbs with one another, culminating in a no-holds-barred punch-out right near home plate.
So in front of two teams of horrified 7-year-olds and a likely terrified 13-year-old umpire, an entire group of parents stormed the field to beat the crap out of each other. They physically assaulted one another, over a bad umpire call. In a child’s baseball game.
There are times when I feel solidarity with my fellow parents, a sort of “we’re in this together” mentality. Watching this debacle, however, makes me question my faith in the human race.
The Lakewood Police Department was equally disgusted by the behavior of these punchy parents; they posted the video clip to their Twitter account on June 18 to shame the supposed “adults” & to request the help of the public in identifying any of the offenders:
These adults took over the field and began assaulting each other on 6/15 during a youth baseball game. We're looking for any info, in particular to ID the man in the white shirt/teal shorts. Several people have already been cited in this fight and injuries were reported. pic.twitter.com/ieenhwCrbU
— Lakewood Police (@LakewoodPDCO) June 18, 2019
These adults had so little self-control or regard for their kids that they beat the crap out of each other relentlessly. And while it was reported that no child was physically injured during this disaster, you can bet it was emotionally traumatic. Lakewood Police spokesman John Romero explained to Denver news station KUSA:
It’s very sad, at the very beginning of the video, you can see kids running off the field as the adults start fighting and punching each other.
It’s not just sad- it’s tragic. It is genuinely frightening for a child to watch an adult lose control. How devastating must it have been for these poor kids to see the adults storming the field & literally attacking each other? What must it have been like for a kid to watch his father get punched in the face? Or to watch his father do the punching??
Four of the adults have been charged with disorderly conduct, & the police are still following up on the identities of several more that displayed criminal behavior in the video.
It should be painfully obvious that this sort of behavior is outrageously inappropriate at a sports event for kids. But the painful reality is that some parents are complete idiots that don’t think about how their behavior affects others, or simply don’t care.
How can we expect our kids to display sufficient self-control & to deal with conflict maturely if we ourselves do the very opposite??
Parents like this ruin what should be a good thing. Sports are competitive, but they’re also fun. They are about the KIDS, not the adults. Obnoxious sports parents are the worst, & they spoil what would otherwise be an exciting & enjoyable experience.
I’m glad the video clip was posted publicly, because I sincerely hope that the offenders are called out for their infantile behavior. As police spokesman Romero explained to WUSA:
It’s a good reminder for adults: Whether you’re a parent or not, you have these children who look up to you, think before you act.
Exactly, parents- think before you act. Kids are watching & learning by how YOU behave. If you can’t control yourself, go sit in the car. Stop ruining kid’s games with your lack of respect and self-control. No one needs that toxicity near the playing field.