BAD SPORTS PARENTS SENT OFF!
“Citius, Altius, Fortius, f*&@” (faster, higher, stronger, swearier).
Tonight the children of Australia will be thinking of the spirit of co-operation between nations and the values of sportsmanship as the London Olympic games kick off with tremendous fanfare.Barred for abuse at his son’s under-9 game … Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson. Photograph via Fox Sports.
Tomorrow morning almost 1.8 million billy lids will be at muddy sporting fields, netball courts, softball diamonds and swimming pools trying to emulate their heroes.
And instead of cheering fans on the sidelines?
It will be a grumpy crowd of unhinged parents abusing the umpire, challenging match officials, swearing abuse at other parents… and kids on the opposing team… and generally making pests of themselves. Ruining it for everyone.
And with the semi-finals about to start, things are only going to get worse.
Why do even the most sane, rational parents lose the plot at kids’ sport?
The latest offender is AFL Hawthorn coach Alastair Clark… of all people. The Hawthorn coach has been barred from the first four rounds of next season’s South Metro Junior Football League after abusing a league official at his son’s under-9 game last Sunday.
Yes, you read that right. Under nine.
At least Clarkson has the good grace to say he has been humiliated by his actions in abusing 19-year-old umpire, Thomas Grundy.
“I got myself involved in a situation, with my profile and experience from the game, that I should have known better,” he said.
“I should have pulled myself out of that situation or handled myself better in that situation.
“I’m really disappointed with my actions, I’m disappointed it’s brought such attention to the whole football world, I’m disappointed that it’s brought Thomas to the attention of the whole football world – he’s a 19-year-old lad who’s gone to the football to officiate in the manner that he did and he doesn’t expect any person, let alone the coach of an AFL club, to talk to him in that manner.”
Clarkson said he believed the four-match suspension – which carries over to next year as this year’s under-9 season has concluded – was appropriate.
However, a quick whip around of the mums here at The Hoopla admitted that behaviour at girls netball games is even worse!
Parents come up with all the excuses in the world for why they get so riled up: officials who want to “even things up” because one side is doing better than the other; teams that substitute players from higher grades; penalties that go unnoticed; the same players getting on-field playing time over and over again; coaches who do not recognise their child’s potential; children who make the same mistakes over and over, week in and week out.
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