Poor Sportsmanship Has No Place

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SportsmanshipDoes buying a ticket to a sporting event give the purchaser free-reign to be verbally abusive?

In this case, it could be toward a fan of the other team, players or officials.

It’s typically not permitted in the workplace. Or in a public meeting.

So why is verbal abuse permitted at a high school gym or ball field?

According to the National Officiating Survey of more than 17,000 high school officials conducted by the National Association of Sports Officials, 86.98 percent of the respondents said they had suffered verbal abuse in their officiating roles.

As a high school sports official, I can tell you that there are some schools with outstanding reputations for sportsmanship and others who are deplorable – particularly in the context of the school being an educational institution -- a place for students to learn!

No surprise here. The survey indicates that the major contributors to poor sportsmanship are parents (39.26 percent) and coaches (29.46 percent). How embarrassing.

Just as discouraging, nearly 57 percent said sportsmanship is getting worse.

Parents and coaches set the example and cast the image and reputation of their family, team and school just as corporate executives do for their company.

It’s time to change the downward trend by stepping up, being a good role model and doing the right thing. There is no place for verbally-abusive sports fans. Your children and students are watching.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

1 Comment

  1. David Landis says:

    Scott, I couldn’t agree more. Good sportsmanship is critical in our professional lives, personal lives, in government, in the theatre and on the playing field – or anywhere else you come into contact with human beings. Respect is paramount. Cheers, David

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