Dear Athletic Support: My son is seven. Remember that. Seven years old. He plays in the local baseball league for kids his age. It’s just a community league. Not travel ball or anything like that, but let me tell you, the parents are still crazy! I’ve seen dads climb the fences, little boys crying after games, and moms cussing like sailors from the stands. It’s not just the moms that use foul language, though. A lot of the other parents do too. I’m not a fan of all the other wild stuff that goes on around these games, but I really cannot stand the cussing. These are little kids! And the grownups are hollering out nasty words that would get the boys kicked out of elementary school. I just don’t get it. I don’t know what to do, either. I get so mad I can’t think straight. At the same time, I’m scared of standing up and giving these wacko parents a piece of my mind. My husband keeps telling me it’s just part of the game. That things are different on the baseball field. It means more, or something. But I don’t want my son to have to hear that stuff. We try really hard to watch our mouths around him. We don’t even let him watch PG-13 movies. I just never thought he’d hear such profanity in little league baseball! What should I do?
— Wash Ur Mouth
Dear Mouth: If things really are as bad as you’ve made them out to be, I would remove my son from the league immediately.
There is no excuse for such behavior, and sadly, I think this group of people is too far gone for reform. There's simply no chance of saving them.
Whoever oversees that league lost control long ago. You don’t want to be the one to instigate the sort of overhaul it would take to get those parents and coaches back on the right path.
It won’t be easy removing your son from the team, either, but it’s the right call.
If you’re aware of other parents who feel the same as you do, you might consider reaching out to them privately. Maybe, that way, some of your son’s friends could make the transition to a new team with him.
These days, it seems like there are plenty of youth baseball leagues to choose from. Just do your research before you commit to anything. And if you wind up on a travel team, get ready to do just what the name implies — travel.
Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. His debut novel, Don’t Know Tough, is available wherever books are sold. Send in questions for “Athletic Support” by using the “Contact” page at elicranor.com.