Youth sports should be all about working as a team, learning a sport, and making new friends, right? Well, we all know there are some crazy parents out there. And some of them made quite a scene Monday evening at a youth football practice in Wichita, Kansas. After threatening the coach with a gun and then beating him after arguing over a child’s playing time in an upcoming game, the wife of the coach pulled out a gun, firing it in the air to scare the men off.
Although the league would not comment on the age of the player, the league is for students in second through eighth grade. The child whose playtime was being questioned by the parent has a history of different issues with the league. The player was removed from his original team after the first week of the season last year due to “character issues.” Jeremy Burris, league director, said that there had also been issues with the family. “Family members played loud music and cursed loudly during practices and were a disruptive presence.” The reason this player was not being permitted to play was due to the fact that he had not returned his equipment from the previous season.
The confrontation began at about 7:45 Monday night when the mother of the player came to the park and began yelling at the coach. This prompted the “team mom” to step in and attempt to calm the woman down. The woman left, police were called and interviewed witnesses, and then the police left the scene.
This is when the action was just starting to pick up.
About 20 minutes after the police left, a group of men walked up to the field. They asked which coach was the one who had spoken with their relative and then confronted said coach. Lt. James Espinoza commented,
“One of the men lifted his shirt to display a handgun tucked into the waist of his pants. Moments later, five or six other men began beating up the 37-year-old coach. One of the men used a set of brass knuckles.”
This was when the coach’s wife pulled out a gun and fired a warning shot into the air. Espinoza stated, “The coach broke free of his attackers and went to his car for a second gun, which he pointed at various people in the crowd.” The group of men had fled the scene by the time officers returned to the field.
The coach and his wife have both been dismissed of their coaching duties and involvement in the league. The coach has a great reputation with the league, having been a coach for over 15 years. Despite the fact that they both do posses concealed-carry permits, both of their guns have been taken in to be used as evidence. “You can’t take weapons out around children,” says Burris.
The league’s code of conduct states that anyone may be removed from the league for repeated occurrences of behavior including misconduct at games. The code of conduct also sets out expected behavior for parents, coaches, players and spectators, putting this coach’s status on the chopping block.
What would you have done in this situation?