A tale as old as time….
It’s not the heart warming story of Beauty and the Beast I wish to evoke today, although the Beast image is most appropriate. I want to speak here of the never-ending issue of hockey parents behaving badly. I say loudly, SHAME ON YOU, SHAME ON YOU, and your nasty ways!
I’d hoped things had changed since I was a parent attending those early morning games and practices, but from the perspective today of a grandmother in the stands…all remains, sadly, unchanged.
My eight-year-old granddaughter, she’s only eight, did I mention that? And some of her teammates are a mere seven years old…. her girls’ hockey team recently played a weekend tournament in Oshawa, Ontario. On the third day of the game, they were in the finals, all excited to possibly win the coveted gold medal, more than happy with the thought of the silver. Fact is, they’re little kids, they were happy to just be hanging out together all weekend at the hockey rink!
At the end of the finals, they wore the silver medal, and were flying high on their win. They lined up for the traditional post game handshake, mimicking the big leagues in an honoured tradition of respect for fellow athletes, they followed after each other dutifully slapping gloves with the gold clad team. Swinging around, little and tall ones they were, my granddaughters’ team skated by the bench holding the coaches of the opposing team
From these coaches, who are adults, who are parents, who are supposed to lead by example, these little girls received not the sportsmanlike talk of ‘Good game’, “way to go girls’, no, these were the words they should have received, but instead, they were slapped with: worst, worst team, worst!
Worst, synonymise with: bad, inferior, least, lowest.
Don’t let anyone tell you that words don’t hurt, because they do.
Shame on you, hockey parents behaving badly, shame on you!
Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bitter sweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong.
Parents, you were wrong, please change.