Reader discourages bullying at sports events

Jim FreemanIn The Open

October 19, 2012

Dear Editor,

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Hazing, harassment, intimidation or bullying (HHIB) can affect everyone and can cause many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use and suicide.

Attend a local youth event, and you will know exactly what I’m talking about in regards to HHIB. Our youth and families are hearing inappropriate comments. We can all step up and model respect by not engaging in belittling anyone during a game or other youth event. Let’s stop this negative fan behavior immediately. You are to be role models for our youth. Young children, our next generation of leaders, attend these games. Look around and notice them. Do what is right and expose them to positive comments. You can start by encouraging a player instead of yelling insensitive comments. Believe me; if a player has a turnover or whatever, they are hard enough on themselves. They don’t need fans or anyone else yelling at them.

Below is a poem by an unknown author. I strongly feel that many of us could have written this poem. Support and encourage our youth because they deserve it!

Just a Boy You Know!

Please don’t curse the boy down there,

he is my son, you know, and he means a lot to me.

I did not raise my son, sports fan, for you to call him names.

He may or may not be a superstar, but it is only a game.

Please don’t curse the boys down there. They do the best they can.

They never tried to lose a game, they’re boys and you’re a woman or man.

The game belongs to them you see, and you are just a guest.

They do not need a fan like you, they need the very best.

If you have nothing nice to say, please leave the boys alone.

And if you can’t enjoy the game, why don’t you stay at home?

So please don’t curse the boys down there, each one’s his own parent’s son.

And win or lose, or tie, you see, to us they’re Number One!

Encourage our youth!

Denise L. Martin