Magazine article Insight on the News

New Penalties for Being a Bad Sport

Magazine article Insight on the News

New Penalties for Being a Bad Sport

Article excerpt

Criticism has been mounting for years about the lack of civility on the part of some parents who take an intense interest in their youngsters' sporting activities. Evidence is seen in a recent headline in the Christian Science Monitor: "Stiffer Penalties for Head-Butting the Referee." The article goes on to detail how adults of the baby-boomer generation seem prone to express their distress at official rulings in youth sports through physical attacks on officials.

It's apparently not unknown for a referee to face a drawn gun or to be run off the road following a game. As to why there is increasing violence on the part of parents, it is suggested that the trend reflects an overall increase in sports violence among players, coaches and fans. With rage a fairly routine thing on the roads, in offices, in schools and seemingly anywhere you turn today, why not?

At the same time, though, society is increasingly "zero-tolerant" of misbehavior of any sort, be it real, perceived or even threatened. Kids barely out of kindergarten become media sensations as they face serious charges for threats or other conduct that might have been dismissed with a scolding in an earlier era. …

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