Recently on Facebook I commented on an article about a parent who had been charged with assault after he had an altercation with a 17 year old referee. As the story goes, the hockey game, played by 8-9 year olds was not supposed to have any body contact since it isn’t allowed in that age group but some kids weren’t following the rules. Some of the parents apparently believing the young ref wasn’t doing his job and stopping the physical contact became angry. At least two fathers waited in the parking lot after the game and when the ref walked by made the snide comment, “nice game ref” to which the young man replied “f*<k you". The men then
shook their heads and like mature adults walked away became enraged and one ran up and got in the boys face, yelling at him and when the boy tried to walk away kicked the back of his legs. Wait ……what? So, a GAME , played by CHILDREN, ref’d by a CHILD and the parents are so invested they felt the need to confront and ultimately attack the YOUNG ref? Huh?
So when I expressed my disgust with the actions of these parents I was met with people arguing that the boy deserved it for using profanity. My argument is this, had those men left him alone and let him go home in peace instead of commenting none of this would have happened. Can you imagine how intimidating and unnerving walking past those angry parents would have been? Instead they made him uncomfortable and when he responded, as I’m sure they hoped, they used it as an opportunity to vent. On a teenage boy.
To the parent now up on charges, you claimed you were concerned for your child hearing foul language , well how would you have felt if a grown man yelled in his face and kicked him? The boy you provoked, cornered, frightened and attacked is someone’s child too. If you had an issue with his ref’ing, call or email the league and complain, like an adult. Hold your temper and set an example for your child….by shutting your mouth and keeping your feet to yourself.
I have always taught my kids to respect anyone they meet as a fellow human being until that person gives them cause not to respect them. I do not believe is offering respect simply because of someone’s age. If you are a good, kind human being you deserve respect for that not because of the number of years you have lived. If you are a despicable cretin that treats others like garbage than you do not deserve respect from others. These men gave that boy no reason to respect them but instead reason to fear and resent them. His use of profanity was most likely false bravado in a scary situation. The repercussions of violence can last much longer than the actual act itself. That boy may now be afraid to do his job or more for fear of being attacked.
To make matters worse this boy was suspended from his ref’ing job. Can you imagine how frustrated he must feel to have been placed in this position and how unfair it must all seem.
Sadly this will serve as a life lesson to him that life isn’t always fair and adults aren’t always grown ups.