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Favoritism is not a new thing
by Bonnie White


December 03, 2004

I somewhat agree with Mike McColley's views on favoritism in sports, but then when hasn't there been favoritism? This is not something that is new to our sports community and it has been going on for many years. Life is not fair.

This letter is NOT to attack anyone who volunteered their own time to coach a team, or hold a position on a board because I appreciate and am thankful and grateful those people took the time and made time for our children so that they could be able to participate in a sport. I realize that some of us are unable to take time from work to coach or whatever needs to been done and that without these people our community would have no sports at all. I also understand that there are people who would love to be able to coach or assist and can not because of the requirements needed for approval of the application. This is too bad, because there are some great coaches that could be beneficial to our children and it is unfortunate that exceptions can't be made for them. So in the mean time you will have coaches like me who know nothing about the fundamentals. (Which I did coach tee ball one year. But this is a whole different topic for another day).

Every year we see the same faces of adults who volunteer numerous hours of their time so that our children can participate in a sporting event. And every year those people have to deal with the "irate parents" in the stands because of a choice they made either coaching, or playing a certain child or picking a team, and is this fair? Absolutely not! I am sorry to say that I at one time or another have been one of the "irate parents" and I truly feel bad, but I tried my best to get to my car and close the door before my mouth opened. This is only a natural reaction for a parents because every parent wants to believe that their child is the best, or could play better then the kid on first base or pitching or whatever. Every parent thinks that they could have made a better decision on the play the coach just called and every parent wants their child to be on the All Star team. But as we all know there are only so many spots that can be filled and every year many boys and girls will go home disappointed.

My boys have been involved in Ketchikan Baseball and other sports for the past 10 years. Our family has had the opportunity to be both happy that they were chosen for All Stars and disappointed that they were not. One of our sons was not picked one year for All Stars and it was the biggest disappointment not only for my son but for us as his parents. I am not saying that he should have made it that year because I am his mom but because he genuinely deserved a spot on that team. He played a great season, he played hard, had a good attitude and batted in the top 5 of his league - not to mention that most kids did actually vote for him. (We found out later that he would have been on the team, but the coach could pick 2 players of his choice). But 14 boys made the team that year and favoritism ruled again and my son accepted the decision with great disappointment, but with great sportsmanship and continued to play the next regular season.

We also have a son who has been on the All Star team every year since he was able to be picked. He was chosen not because we knew the coach or we bribed someone, but because he is a damn good player and he earned his position on the team. Every year I see kids who played their hearts out and tired very very hard and all they want is to make the All Star team. Some of them deserved the position, some still need another year to grow, but those kids never get to see a spot on the All Star team because of favoritism and I feel bad for those kids. But there are only a small number of positions and sometimes life is not fair.

Favoritism goes beyond just picking an All Star team. Sometimes you will see it when a game is being played and the players that should be on the field are sitting warming the pines, but again life is not fair. I don't have an answer as to what would make this fair. I just think that we should look at what is the best for our children and what is fair and if we are trying to teach them good sportsmanship, then how can they learn when a bunch of adults are arguing on the sideline?

My son Blaine White has two very good points: He states:

1. Your team is only as good as your weakest player.
2. If your team wins or loses it is not because of just one player, it is because of the whole team.

Maybe when coaches are choosing their teams they should consider what my fourteen year son has said because I believe he is absolutely right.

Again, I just would like to thank all those who volunteered their endless hours and assisted in coaching my children, Shane, Blaine and Kelsey White while they were involved in sports.

Instead of all the negativity that we are showing to our children maybe we can find the time and a way to join together and find a happy medium and show the kids that we have good sportsmanship.

Bonnie White
Team mom
Irate parent
Ketchikan, AK - USA


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