EDITORIAL: Good sports and the courts

Parents of athletic children are not always the best role models when it comes to accepting the calls of referees and losing or winning graciously.

Yet who best to be an example of good sportsmanship? In recent years, heightened expectations around kids’ sports has led to abuse of refs, many of them young athlete themselves, even brawls. Parents should know better yet some leagues are having to require parents to sign an agreement promising to behave on the sidelines before their kids can play sports.

Recently, a judge was forced to take an even stronger step, sending a Vancouver minor hockey coach to jail for 15 days after he pleaded guilty to assault for tripping two teenage players in a handshake line after a game. The incident was caught on video and that video went viral (it’s not a question of whether you saw it but how many times).

Perhaps this will send a strong message to kids, parents and coaches that poor sportsmanship is unacceptable — and sometimes, illegal.

What do you think? Will a jail sentence for tripping a boy after a hockey game encourage better sportsmanship at kids’ sporting events? Vote in our online poll.

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