Soccer referee's death raises questions anew about respect and sportsmanship

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - One headline screams, "Teen charged with homicide by assault in referee death."  It is shocking, or is it?

We have seen the stories about violence directed at referees grow by leaps and bounds over the years. Maybe, you say, this headline was bound to happen. It involves the death of a Utah soccer referee and the teen now charged in his death. Click here for story.

I went to Google and entered a search for the following: Florida youth sports referee player parent fights. I got three million results. That's 3,010,000 to be precise. Many are links to national stories and many are the same story told over and over again. But the larger point is that even the most cursory search turns up an ugly truth. Youth sports are increasingly removed from their purpose-- to teach our children the values of teamwork, discipline, competition, fair play and a respect for the rules of the game.

Legendary football coach Knute Rockne said, "One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it."  Too bad there are so few teachers anymore, much less people taking time to lead by example.

 

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