Pee Wee athletics are microcosms of the social experience. These sports are great organizations for kids to learn important life skills, like taking turns, losing gracefully, and interacting with other human beings. But apparently in the metro, youth soccer is also a great place for kids to learn how to initiate and navigate a fist fight.
OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s something that’s become a big problem on the sidelines — out of control parents.
“We get mad. We go on a tirade when Little Sally or Little Sammy gets kicked. Guess what? It’s soccer! She’s going to get kicked,” said referee Brian Barlow. He’s created a page online that showcases videos of parents throwing fits.
He says the page is supposed to be funny, but serious.
Barlow collects-and apparently pays people to submit- videos for his Facebook page Offside that show parents in khaki pants and pastel polos cussing each other out as their respective kids collect embarrassing memories that will one day be discussed in therapy. Not only does he pay for videos of parents tantruming on the field, but also for evidence of referee abuse.
“I said, ‘listen, if you capture referee abuse like this and I post it on my Facebook page, I’m going to give you a hundred dollars,” he said…
17-year-old referee Hannah Knehans knows how the game works…
“Some guy threatened to stab her and so, that wasn’t good,” said Knehans, who also says parents are teaching their kids the wrong thing. “That it’s okay to be rude to people and that’s never a lesson you want to teach. Everybody deserves kindness and respect.”
I know that filming and making fun of a bunch of screaming, whining parents at youth soccer games seems about as juvenile as the way screaming, whining parents at youth soccer games act. But look on the bright side. Not only does publicly shaming parents for acting a fool deter the outbursts at kids’ games. But it also teaches children that anything that’s put on the internet is on there forever.
Hayley is on the internet forever. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek