When I initially heard of a local 14-year-old soccer player allegedly hitting and injuring a 54-year-old volunteer referee during a recent soccer game, I had no plans of bringing it up for discussion as it extends a bit outside my usual realm of medical topics. But over the last 3 days of having it simmer and then coaching my children in their games just yesterday, I sit here so very disappointed and embarrassed with this entire situation.
And not knowing what kind of exposure this received nationally, I'd like to first share with everyone a few of the alleged details surrounding this event. What apparently occurred is the 14-year-old became upset when the referee administered a yellow card (think of it as a warning but not expulsion from a game) following an illegal slide tackle. And according to witnesses, the teenager then proceeded to punch the referee multiple times...leading to an immediate trip to the local emergency room with further treatment being needed over the next few weeks. The 14-year-old has since been expelled from the league as well as arrested and charged with felony battery...something I am pleased to report.
But how did it get to this point? Now I'm not going to use the age-old adage..."Back in my day things like this didn't happen"...particularly because I realize things do change. And the pure act of violence does not surprise me these days as it would be hard for anyone to deny it isn't incorporated into the soul of our society...with all the video games, movies/television, and even sporting events validating it on a daily basis.
What I take aim at here is the respect or, shall I say, the lack of respect being shown to our elders these days. I see children all day long (and I really do love it) but one thing that repeatedly amazes me is children not showing any respect for adults, and in particular, their own parents. And I am not talking about the 16-year-old who is embarrassed with her dad when they cannot agree on why she came to see me, but, in fact, the 8-year-old who tells his mother to "shut-up" and then does it again. I'm also talking about the 12-year-old who doesn't realize he needs to give up his seat for an adult when no others are available. And I'm certainly talking about a 14-year-old beating up a 54-year-old volunteer referee.
We may not all agree on how best to raise our children but something I'm sure many of us do agree with is the importance of respecting our elders. Let's just make sure our children know this as well.