Don’t ruin the game

CHICKASAW_Journal_BANNEREvents two weeks ago at a high school softball game have us concerned.

In that situation a parent allegedly had words with a coach and the confrontation came to blows. The parent was arrested for simple assault of a school teacher, a crime that is a felony in Mississippi.

We will not rehash the details other than to point out it was a very public event that frightened many and embarrassed all. The courts will handle it from here and we hope justice is well served.

This newspaper is urging all who attend a organized athletic event in our community to be a fan first and a parent second.

Fans play an important role in every sporting event. They are found on the sidelines and in the stands cheering their team on. Sadly, the label fan is taken from the word fanatic and some go overboard for their team or player.

Neither fans nor parents at a community sporting event should ever verbally or physically assault those around them.

It’s one thing to cheer on the hometeam. It is entirely something else to degrade the other team or one of their players.

And fan violence at any community sporting event is a crime and should be treated as such.

Football is a very physical sport. Basketball games can get rough. Softball games can become emotional and highly charged events.

But the passions of the heart should never control the mind and the actions of the body at a school sporting event.

Let the game be enjoyed by all in the stands. Let the competition be settled on the field. Be a fan your school and team can be proud of regardless of the score.

Athletics is allowed and encouraged in our schools because it teaches the virtues of discipline, self-control and sportsmanship.

Fans of the game know this. Real fans of the game should practice them.

Our children, our schools and our community suffer when fans and parents ruin the game.

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