Another kiddie league official has been attacked by an enraged adult in the type of episode that seems to be happening in youth sports all too often these days.
An umpire in a baseball game for 10-year-olds in The Colony, Texas, suffered a concussion at the hands of a coach who went wild after the ump threw him out of the game.
The altercation came after a close play at the plate in which umpire Sam Phelps called a player safe at home, according to KDFW-TV. The coach, who was not named in the report, angrily approached Phelps. The confrontation caused Phelps to throw the coach out of the game.
Video of the incident, which is now part of a police investigation, shows the coach shoving Phelps violently to the ground in an assault that snapped the ump’s head back sharply.
Last night, we spoke to an umpire from Denton, TX who said he’s pressing charges against a boy’s baseball coach after he was assaulted on Saturday.
This morning, @FOX4 obtained video of the incident.
— Peyton Yager (@peytonyager) April 12, 2022
Phelps was treated and released from a hospital after the attack and now says he has nagging neck pain. He is pressing charges against the coach, who left the park before police arrived.
L’Erin Hampton, president of the organization that put on the baseball tournament last weekend, lamented that too many of us seem to be missing the point of youth sports.
“The why we do it is everything. We have lost that,” Hampton said. “We are so focused on the score and winning the game, but the real win is the kids having fun.”
Indeed, this incident is far from unusual. Referees are being attacked all across the country.
Only days ago, a youth basketball referee in Georgia was brutally assaulted by a group of players and fans. Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the game was being played in a church.
Y’all these bad ahh kids got off on the referee ? Why the other refs ain’t help tho pic.twitter.com/FGXhxqFDer
— NoPauseTv (@NoPauseTv) April 4, 2022
Also this month, an umpire in a kids’ softball game in Mississippi was allegedly punched after a parent took issue with a call. The parent was arrested and charged with assault.
This isn’t just happening in youth sports.
In January, Dallas Cowboys fans showered the field with garbage in their pique after a playoff game ended with a controversial call. When Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was told that the fans who threw the garbage were upset at the officials, he told the media, “Credit to them, then.”
Prescott went on to praise the unruly fans, saying, “I guess that’s why the refs took off and got out of there so fast. So I mean, yeah, I think everybody’s upset with the way that this thing played out.”
— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) January 17, 2022
Such terrible behavior being applauded like that is turning sports into a battleground, and not just metaphorically. People are allowing their anger to lead.
This assault on sportsmanship is undermining honest competition all over the country and taking the fun right out of sports for kids and adults alike. Is this where we are headed as a society?
Let’s hope it isn’t.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.