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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Justified Behavior, Unsportsmanlike Behavior or Assault: You Decide

Below is a link to a videotaped recent incident of a coach pushing an 11-year-old out of a handshake line after a youth football game. It is obvious that the coach was very aggressive toward the youth; however, it does not show anything that might have caused such an inappropriate response. Take a look:

Coach Shoves 11-year-old player: link 1


Coach Shoves 11-year-old player: link 2

As a physical educator, I work with many different types of kids in a variety of athletic situations and it just seemed strange to me that any adult would act in such a manner over a football game, so I dug further to see if there was another side to the story. In reading several pieces regarding the incident, it appears that the game was hotly contested with a good deal of unsportsmanlike conduct occurring. Then, during the handshake line, the young athlete (who was later shoved by the coach) was punching and berating opposing players by saying “you suck” and when he got close to this coach said “you f----ing suck,” which prompted the shoving action by the coach who said to the kid, “knock it off now,” as he shoved him.

Here are a couple of links that will help shed more light on the story (some of the comments are interesting):

Coach Shoves 11-year-old player: link A

Coach Shoves 11-year-old player: link B

Coach Shoves 11-year-old player: link C

Coach Shoves 11-year-old player: link D

Coach Shoves 11-year-old player: link E

So, on the one hand, you have the parents of the child who are pressing assault charges against the coach, while on the other hand, you have the coach (who has since resigned) stating that he felt his behavior is justified based on the circumstances that the youth presented. My question to anyone reading this post, and perusing the links provided, is where do you stand on this issue? Is the coach correct in justifying his behavior, are the parents holding onto the more appropriate viewpoint that their child was assaulted, or do both parties need to take some responsibility for what happened? All comments welcome.


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