Crazy Youth Sports Coach Series
This blog chronicles the good, the bad and the ugly of youth sports. Today, I guess is ugly day with my last post about sports hazing and this story about coach from Jackson, Mississippi. The coach of Murrah High School, Marlon Dorsey whipped his players with a heavy weightlifting belt for not executing plays correctly. Get this! The coach was brazen enough to spank his players while parents were in the gym watching.
The dad featured on the video below was in the gym when this incident happened. He was supposedly outraged but did nothing. I guess he didn't do anything immediately because it was not his kid who was getting abused. This dad would later find out that his kid had once been a victim too. According to the story, most of the kids were victims of this abuse over the course of the season and nobody said a word to their parents or school officials. They all feared losing playing time or getting kicked off the team.
Well, now there is video of the abuse and everyone is talking and wanting their slice of the litigation pie.
The Main Point
A coach physically abusing young athletes is sad. A black coach in Mississippi whipping black kids is even sadder. To me, however, the saddest part of the story is the dad who watched and said nothing and did nothing for several days. I can only guess that playing time for his kid was more important than respect for his kid.
This is especially sad to me because I can blame myself for the same thing. I know that I have hesitated approaching a coach who I thought was being disrespectful to my son (verbally not physically). Instead, I basically told my son, "you will encounter other A-hole coaches throughout your career and when you do you will be prepared.... You cannot quit, you just have to persevere....we will find you a better team and coach next year." I eventually had enough with my son's coach and confronted him, but only after bitting my lip for way too long. I finally realized that there was a difference between a tough a-hole coach and a disrespectful a-hole coach. I do not need my kids to be coddled, but I need the coach to respect them. It would be great if they respected them as players and people, but at the very least they need to respect them as people.