Recent incident by state representative brings issue to light

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

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It was a night that Tennessee House Republican Jeremy Faison wished he could have a ‘mulligan’ for.
Faison’s son was playing a basketball game at Providence Academy in Johnson City a couple of weeks ago when technical fouls called by the referee sent Faison into a rage and admitted that he tried to get the referee to fight him by trying to pull down the official’s pants.
Faison was ejected from the game and immediately offered apologies afterward but the damage had already been done.
As a result of his actions, another Tennessee lawmaker, Rep. Brandon OglesĀ (R-Franklin-D61), has proposed legislation making contact or injury with a sports official a crime.
And all of this over a simple high school game of basketball.
But the problem just doesn’t stop there as incidents such as this happen from all levels of different sports. Basketball seems to be the one sport, however, it’s more prevalent possible because of the closeness of fans to the court and the intensity the game creates by its fast pace.
As a sports writer, I have witnessed many occasions where fans have “lost it” from the youth club level, the elementary and middle level, and finally in high school.
There have been fights in the stands, on the floor, and even outside the gym between students, parents, and the average fan over a call or the outcome of a ballgame.
As a child, my mother use to take her index finger and move it up and down when I did something wrong while saying “Shame, shame on you for doing that,”.
The same needs to apply to anyone who takes an athletic event meant for the enjoyment of children and instead makes it about their frustration with officials, coaches, and even the children themselves.
Fighting in the stands between parents from opposing teams, parents being so vocal toward officials about the calls being made, and other forms of expression that display poor sportsmanship needs to stop because children whether one will admit it or not absorb the actions of their adult leadership and that is why they have issues as they develop in adulthood.
It’s time to take a game for what it is and that is enjoyment for the children and a time to encourage them as they develop their skills. And just in case we forget, there are no Shaq’s in youth ball nor LeBron James in elementary and junior high.
These are kids that are developing their skills for a very slim chance of one day being able to play like these All-Star players. I am sure parents set these levels and expectations, but there also must be a realistic acknowledgment this will be the case.
Enjoy the journey with your child and the memories created. Don’t be the sour apple that leaves a memory of embarrassment to your children and your child’s school.
Believe me, school systems remember your actions as well and the stories they could tell.
And now, if this law is passed and you loss too much control, just remember you could possibly be charged with a crime.
Set the example and don’t be the example.

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