Being a good sport

Imagine how you would feel if every time you sat down at your desk to start working, some jerk standing ten feet away started screaming “type faster,” or “no, no i before e, can’t you spell?” I know I wouldn’t be very productive.

What if when a kid went to take their SATs, parents sat at the front of the room screaming instructions and throwing things every time they missed a question?

Those actions would obviously never be acceptable, and no one in their right mind would think they were. So why is it that at school sporting events, spectators can get away with berating kids, taunting the opposing team and making themselves look like utter morons?

I like to assume that spectators at most sporting events cheer in a good natured way and behave in an acceptable manner, but after receiving a letter sent home from my school district this week, I’m not so sure.

The letter in question was addressed to the parents and residents of the school district and explained that while the students on the athletic teams always behave in a sportsman like way, the same cannot be said for the spectators. Outlined in the letter were guidelines listing proper and improper etiquette at school sporting events. Not only was there apparently a need for this type of letter to be sent to the residents of the area, but the school has also taken actions to separate the student athletes from the over zealous fans. Player benches have been moved across the field from the spectator bleachers and the letter from the school explained there is a possibility a uniformed officer will be hired to ensure things don’t get out of hand.  

Maybe my memory is not as great as I would like, but I can’t think of a single time in my school history when any of these actions were necessary. Fans were loud and excited, but I don’t remember anyone ever acting so out of control that the teams’ benches needed to be moved or that a uniformed officer was required.

If it weren’t so pathetic, I might laugh at the fact that there are parents and spectators out there who have to be baby-sat at school sporting events in order to keep their tempers in check.

If I was the fan who had gotten so out of control that the school had to take these actions, I would be embarrassed. But I’m sure the kid that person came to cheer on suffered the worst of the embarrassment.

At these types of events, one person behaving badly can trigger others to do the same. The situation can rapidly spiral out of control, but let’s remember that the spectators role at these games is to be supportive of the players, and although we go to watch the team play, they’re watching you too. Make sure you’re setting a good example.

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