FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Parents are weighing in about a video posted on YouTube showing an enraged father at a Long Island soccer match played by 10-year-old girls.
Cellphone cameras caught the unidentified man’s tirade on a Farmingville soccer field Saturday at the Long Island Soccer Shootout. Witnesses say the dad became upset after a volunteer official asked him to stop cursing at his own daughter on the field. Accounts differ, but some witnesses said the man refused to back down and threw a water bottle filled with beer at the official, then shoved him.
The players were cowering and crying during the incident, witnesses said.
“Unfortunately, parents are too involved, and it goes into the kids, and they’re having a rough game,” Sarah Pande, a mother who was on the field Saturday, told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
Added Russ DiStefano, a former soccer coach: “It’s terrible for kids, terrible for the game and should not be tolerated.”
Police were called to the scene, but the official, also the father of a player on the opposing team, declined to press charges.
The Long Island Junior Soccer League, which has a zero-tolerance policy about parents’ misconduct, is investigating the incident. The coach of the West Islip team, for which the man’s daughter played, said the father has a long history with the team and had no history of outbursts.
Brian DeMurley, the vice president of the Sachem Youth Soccer League, said an email that he called police when to prevent the incident from escalating.
“We are glad it did not escalate further,” DeMurley said. “It was no reflection on the rest of the team or the West Islip Club, and they are welcome to our fields any time.
“One point this highlights is the need for the travel teams to be on the sidelines with their coaches and assistants so that they can address inappropriate behavior immediately at youth sporting events, thus keeping the situation in check quickly.”
Police say adult tirades at their kids’ sporting events are too common.
“We serve as role models for the young people whatever we do,” said Suffolk Police Deputy Inspector George Fasanelli. “If you watch this, you can see kids standing around watching what’s going on.
Jadon Prettitore, a youth soccer player, said kids dread it when their parents lose their temper.
“Embarrasing,” he said. “Definitely happens to me on my team. Parents lose control. I think they should just calm down.”
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