These days kids are involved in all sorts of afterschool sports, and anyone who’s gone to cheer their kids on has probably noticed a few parents who take things a little too seriously. More and more parents are exhibiting some really bad behavior at games, with some even getting into brawls, and fighting with refs, and now a new Facebook page is calling those unruly parents out.
In case you missed it, 44-year-old Oklahoma youth soccer referee Brian Barlow has created what he calls the Offside Facebook page, where he posts video of such appalling parent behavior at games, paying $100 for any video he decides to use on his site.
The videos can be humiliating, and sometimes even funny, but he posts them for one major reason – to shame parents about their behavior. “I do it to hold people accountable — to identify and call out the small percentage of parents who nonetheless create a toxic environment at youth sports,” Barlow says. “It’s a very visual deterrent, and not just to the person caught on video but to others who ask themselves: Do I look like that jerk?”
And while you may think Barlow’s over exaggerating the abuse referees receive, he’s not. The National Association of Sports Officials says that 70% of referees quit the job within three years, with the chief reason being abuse from parents and coaches.
Barlow has also launched an initiative, Stop Tormenting Officials Permanently a.k.a. STOP, which allows clubs and even individuals to purchase signs warning that bad behavior towards reps will not be tolerated.
Source: New York Times