(Getty Images/Steve Debenport)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The most satisfying read of this weekend had to be an article in the New York Times sports section about the backlash against parents gone wild at youth sports events.
If you haven’t witnessed it in person at your kid’s soccer or basketball games, chances are you’ve seen the videos of overexcited stage parents deciding the referee is standing between little Johnny and a college scholarship and…losing it.
The Times reports “70 percent of new referees in all sports quit the job within three years, according to the National Association of Sports Officials. The chief cause for the attrition, based on a survey conducted by the association, was pervasive abuse from parents and coaches.”
The result: games and leagues cancelled due to referee shortages, and more inquiries from refs about assault insurance.
Nice work, obnoxious parents!
We know most people aren’t abusive. But the question is how to reign in the ones who are?
The Times details one response that’s getting good results, a soccer ref from Oklahoma who started a Facebook page called Offside, where he offers $100 for a good video clip of adults losing it at a kids’ game.
His goal: public shaming.
“I do it to hold people accountable,” he says. “It’s a very visual deterrent, and not just to the person caught on video but to others who ask themselves: Do I look like that jerk?”
This may be the single most socially-beneficial thing about the smartphone – the built-in camera.
Now we have a handy way to expose shameful behavior, in the hope that the shameless few might be held accountable – for being jerks.
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