The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 28, 2012

Grow up


The Register-Herald

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There was a day, not long ago, when there wasn’t an event much more wholesome than a youth baseball, football or soccer game.

And there was nothing like a high school football or basketball contest to stir up nostalgia and community pride.

But unfortunately, those days may be quickly passing us by.

Reports of parents behaving badly at these events have become rampant.

We wish that “unsportsmanlike” would be the worst adjective to describe their antics.

Despicable comes to mind, instead.

The so-called “adults” shouting, cursing, threatening and generally behaving like “terrible twos” are setting a horrible example for our youth.

And putting a tremendous amount of pressure on the kids to perform in many cases as well.

Are the adults living vicariously through their children, for athletic promise that was never realized back in their would-have-been glory days? It would be difficult to pin down the root of their insanity.

But it’s way out of control.

The blame could also be placed on the extreme emphasis placed on sports in our country.

Multimillion-dollar professional athletes are the norm, not the exception in our society now.

You don’t have to be a household name to cash a large paycheck for playing a kids’ game anymore.

It’s trickled down to the collegiate, high school, middle school and youth ranks too.

With many parents thinking their kid is the next big thing, the mostly misguided misconceptions and misjudging of athletic prowess are causing headaches among the crowds in aluminum bleachers all over the nation — including our region.

Even if a kid is the next superstar, that’s still no reason for a parent to act like the southside of a northbound donkey.

When law enforcement needs to be called out to control outraged adults at youth athletic events, that’s ridiculous.

What a shame it would be if it came down to this: no more youth athletic events, because of the potential dangers to the general public and the costs associated with providing adequate security.

We hope it doesn’t come down to that.

That would rob many children of opportunities needlessly.

But it’s going to require some adults to grow up and behave in a mature manner.

That would be a victory everyone could enjoy.