Letters to the editor

Published 2:38 am Monday, July 16, 2007

By Staff
Actions speak louder than words
On July 2 and 3 during the District Babe Ruth 15-year-old tournament in Uriah, I had the misfortune to witness the most disturbing display of poor sportsmanship I have seen in many years.
As an avid sports fan of nearly 40 years, I have seen my share of tantrums and rude behavior. But a team of young men and their coach, who are supposed to be their city's elite, were some of the worst.
We all know that 14- and 15-year-olds have issues and you expect a certain amount of unruly behavior from one or two, but when nearly an entire team and their coach act badly, it draws a lot of negative attention.
If this were to have happened on one occasion, we could probably have overlooked it as a disappointment over a loss, but this team acted just as obnoxiously when they won.
Everyone who has ever watched sports on TV or even live has seen professionals get mad and put on a show for the crowd, but you shouldn't expect this kind of behavior from our youth.
As the adults, we are supposed to teach them right from wrong and how to act in public. We are all guilty of the odd bad remark about a call or a coach or the game in general. It's unfortunately a part of human nature, but when it escalates to the point of disruption, that's too far.
These young people need our encouragement to learn to be better citizens. Youth sports are supposed to be a way to help our kids learn discipline and build character, not to condone or participate in obnoxious behavior. We need to instill a sense of pride in our kids, but also teach them to win or lose with grace and dignity. Remember these kids are the elite - the All-Stars representing their city. This did not show the All-Star qualities. I for one am glad they won't be representing our state at any level.
My hope is that their parents and coaches read this and realize that their team as a whole behaved badly, and it was noticed by all.
As we all know, actions speak louder than words.
I would also like to commend the rest of the teams and coaches who conducted themselves as All-Stars.
Linda Milam

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