As my husband left for work this morning and the pup snuggled up with me in my chair, I curled up with my phone to catch up on the latest in social media. I opened my personal facebook page and a video popped up. It was a celebration video captured by a football player and sent through Snapchat. It was a video of a football team after beating a HUGE rival to move on in the playoffs. They were the visiting team and had returned to the locker room to celebrate a hard fought victory. The celebrating got a little carried away. Two players threw benches across the room. Two players threw what looked to be pillows or couch coushions across the room. They also took the home team’s flag and laid it on the ground, poured water over it and stepped on it. This video is now on Facebook. And people are ANGRY.
Their huge victory has now been marred by this video. People are saying the entire team needs to be punished. They are saying they need to be stripped of their win and not allowed to move forward in the playoffs. They are saying the boys need to be suspended. People are asking where coaches are. People are accusing parents of not teaching their kids respect and integrity. People are VERY upset by the disrespecting of the Home team’s flag (this really makes me laugh because of what is going on in the NFL right now).
It is important to note that nothing in the locker room was damaged and everything was cleaned up before the team left the locker room.
I’ve seen two different videos at this point and I have some things I want to say. *I’ve decided NOT to show these videos as these boys have gotten plenty of negative attention.
1. When did we start holding our children to higher standards than we hold ourselves?
It concerns me that we, as parents, expect our children to act a certain way even when we, ourselves, do not act in such a manner. I’m not pointing fingers. I am the same way. I have a mouth. My son has been around my mouth his entire life. How dare I get upset when he pops off to me when that is what he has been around his entire life! Yes, we try to teach respect and love and kindness. But what are we SHOWING??? If I can’t learn to hold my tougue after 33 years, how in the world can I expect a 10 year old to be able to hold his. This is seems crazy to me, but we all do it. We are a hockey family. And my kid has a chip on his shoulder when he gets on the rink sometimes. We talk a lot about this chip. We are working through this feeling of “everyone is out to get me”. But it’s exactly that. WORK. I cannot expect this kid to be able to process feelings that it took me 30+ years to process. We have a couple of that slap their sticks on the rink when they get frustrated and our first reaction is to say “Don’t do that”! But how many times have I wanted to slam things when I get angry? I don’t because I have learned to work through those emotions. These kids have not. So instead of showing them a healthy way to get rid of these emotions, we simply tell them “Don’t do that”….so those feelings are shoved down, bottled up until they cannot contain them any longer. We must do better about teaching our kids to COPE with emotions.
2. Why do we allow our “role models” to act like baffoons and then get upset when our children act in the same manner?
When was the last time you sat down and watched a pro sport on tv with your kid? Your kid plays football so you sit down and watch the NFL. Your son watches one of the receivers make a great grab and run the ball in to the endzone. Then your son watches this guy do some kind of stupid dance to celebrate the fact that he just did exactly what he was paid to do. Score. Why? Is he super excited because he has never scored before? Or maybe he knows this is the last time he will ever score. That must be it!
No. They are just arrangant, overpaid jerks that do not know what it means to play with integrity.
Ken Griffy Jr. hit a homerun one time years ago and pumped his fist in the air in excitement. Afterwards, his father repremanded him for such an act. He told him to act like he had been there before. Never again did you see Griffy pump his fist. Why? Because it’s not classy.
One of my son’s friends scored a goal in his hockey game yesterday and he did a rediculous victory dance thing….I was slightly embarrassed for the kid. Why? Because honestly, the reaction made him look like he had never scored in his life and he was just so excited that he couldn’t contain himself. On the drive home, that victory dance came up in conversation. I told my kiddo that I really preferred to never see him act in such a manner. He, of course, kind of giggled because he knows me and knows I would never approve of that kind of thing, but we got a little deeper than just that. Why should we not celebrate in such a way? You should be good enough and confident enough in your skills that you don’t need to add that little extra attitude. When my son scores, he turns and skates as fast as he can to his bench to fist bump his teammates. Even if I miss the actual goal, if I see him skating a certain way I can tell whether he scored or not. He doesn’t need to add flash to his game because he has talent. Talent and hard work is what should do the talking. Nothing else.
3. Rivalries matter.
You, as alumni, started these rivalries. Our kids did not start them. They were simply TAUGHT. We do NOT like this team. They don’t really know why. They just know that they aren’t supposed to like them either. So they don’t. And they show it. And then you get upset.
These kids “disrespected our school’s flag.” Hahahah! Well, folks….we don’t care that our National flag is disrespected so please tell me why anyone should care why your school’s flag should matter to anyone? They poured water on the flag. Ouch. I bet that flag will never recover. I mean, maybe they should have shredded it, poured paint on it, or maybe even burned it instead….
4. What happened to grace?
This football team is made up of 9-12 graders. High schoolers. Kids. They won a HUGE game. Adults are screaming PUNISH THEM. Send the video to the police. Send it to the State Athletic Association. What in the world is wrong with people? Yes, lets take legal action against these kids. Lets take kids that are spending their spare time participating in an after school activity and put them in to our legal system. “What are you in for?” “Oh I celebrated too much after a game.” Seriously people. These are kids. They don’t deserve ANY kind of grace? None at all?
I will be clear. I do not condone the kind of actions these ball players displayed. But I will NOT persecute kids for being kids, having a lapse of judgment. I will teach better, I will act better, and I will show grace.