Support the news

Out-Of-Control Parents Overshadow Youth Sports


A Minnesota resident is accused of punching his eighth-grade son in the face after the boy's team lost in a basketball tournament on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune website, police arrested Eagan resident Steven O. Wilson and he's charged with fifth-degree domestic assault, a misdemeanor. The Star Tribune and other media outlets reported that the 52-year-old grabbed his son by the arm and began punching him in a hallway outside the gym before witnesses separated them. The boy didn't require medical treatment.

Parents losing control over youth sporting events is hardly an uncommon occurrence. A Massachusetts man made national news in 2000 when he beat a fellow hockey dad to death after an incident between their sons on the ice.  Thomas Junta was released from prison in 2010 after serving 8 years of a 10-year sentence (Read more from WHDH-TV).

Last June, as reported by ABC News, an East Meadow, NY woman allegedly sent threatening letters to a Little League official and his son after her son was not chosen for a summer travel team.

These cases are clearly extreme examples, but anyone who's spent time around youth sports has witnessed parents who are overly involved, overly opinionated, overly angry ... or all three ... about their children's performances on the field.

We're starting a conversation about the subject at our Facebook page. Check it out and share your stories about sports parents who've lost their perspective and whether it's more prevalent in our culture today.

This program aired on January 3, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Doug Tribou Twitter Reporter/Producer
Doug Tribou was formerly a reporter and producer at WBUR and for WBUR's Only A Game.


+Join the discussion

Support the news