HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – They drive kids to games, pay for their sports gear, and even help with coaching, but sometimes parents get too intense at little league games and leave the sportsmanship at home.
“I have seen some parents who have gotten aggressive, come out of character, and they forget that their coming to a kids game. Sometimes it’s sad because these kids are exposed to this kind of attention and it’s embarrassing,” said Stephanie Jackson of Holyoke.
On Monday, a 22-year-old woman allegedly punched a 14-year-old girl in the face at a youth baseball game at Kennedy Field in Holyoke. Parents say screaming and yelling is one thing, but physical violence isn’t just scary for the kids, but for them as well.
“You never know what’s going to happen because of stories you’ve heard in the past about parents behaving like that. It’s bad for the kids to see. It’s bad sportsmanship,” Debbie Oyer of Holyoke said.
Holyoke City Councilor James Leahy has already started putting up signs at fields across the community, reminding parents not too lose their cool. The signs, which were unanimously approved last year, read, “These are just kids…This is a game…Coaches are volunteers…Umpires are human…You do not play for the Red Sox.”
Parents say it’s catchy, but they also have some suggestions. “I think they should be written in both English and Spanish, because we do have a diverse community here in the city of Holyoke,” said Donald Callamore of Holyoke.