Youth Football and Guns…I’m Speechless

“He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” those were the shouts that silenced the words of encouragement this past Sunday at the Pee-Wee football game in Northeast Philadelphia.

“What now?” is all I could think when I read this story in the Philadelphia Daily News . 

Having been involved in coaching of youth sports for many years, I’ve seen and heard a lot of crazy things.  This year has been no different from the coach in California who tackled the 13 year old player on the field to the coach on one of our opposing teams this fall using what amounted to a  racial slur to signal his team’s defensive formation. 

I have had my share of parents who don’t think their kid is getting enough playing time and aren’t shy at all to let me know it.  I have always been mindful of kid’s playing time because I believe the purpose of kid’s sports is to give every kid a chance.  As I tell all the parent’s of the teams I coach, “When scouts start showing up at our games, I might change my strategy.  Until then, everyone plays.”

So apparently in Philadelphia that was not the philosphy of the coach of 6- 7 year old pee wee football players and a parent took offense at this.   So much so, he pulled out a gun.

First, let me talk about the coach of these are 6- 7 year olds.   When asked by the parent when he was going to put in more players he responded,  “he liked to run up the score before he put in other players.”

I’m sorry.  Did I read that correctly? “he liked to run up the score” first.  These are 6 – 7 year olds! What the F- is wrong with you! 6 – 7 year olds!  Why are you worried about the score?  At this age isn’t the point to teach the kids about the basic fundamentals of football? You don’t need to run up the score at this age.  You don’t ever need to run up the score.  This guy should never be allowed to coach kids.

Now based upon the coaches response I can understand the dad getting upset.  But pulling a gun out is not the answer.  In fact, the real tragedy is that he even brought a gun to his 6 – 7 year old’s football game.  What was he thinking having it there?

My heads hurts just trying to comprehend this whole thing.    If you think you need to run up the score on 6 – 7 year olds before you put other kids in; or if you think your kid not gettng enough playing time when they are 6 or 7 years old will damage the college or professional prospects; or if you have any reason to bring a gun to a kid’s football game; or if you think pulling out a gun is the way to settle an argument….I’m speechless.

I am speechless.

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