A soccer referee receives insults from…
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A soccer referee receives insults from some of the players' parents, and the 11-year-old goalkeeper stops the game to defend her

February 19, 2020 • By Shirley Marie Bradby

Respect for athletes and referees should not be based on gender, and thankfully a great deal of progress has been made toward achieving this high standard.

Nevertheless, there is still some seemingly willful bad behavior coming from parents who attend youth sports events—who are not respectful of other parents, the young athletes (including their own children), coaches, and referees, regardless of their proven sports or refereeing skills.

Let's take soccer, for example: Playing soccer is a sport that, theoretically, can be practiced by almost anyone - while also promoting values ​​of undoubted importance such as team spirit, respect, discipline, and friendship.

And it is on all these values ​​that the experience of any boy or a girl who decides to play soccer or any team sport should be based.

To counter the ignorance and incivility of those mothers and fathers who shout unrepeatable sentences against their opponents, or against the referee, when their son or daughter is playing soccer, we must teach young people by example, in the hope that in the future they will not repeat the same bad behavior.

Diego Pablo Hernànzed, the 11-year-old goalkeeper of the Avilés Stadium, a youth soccer team from Asturias, was able to give all the parents present at the game, who had insulted the referee, a life lesson.
These individuals had shown, during the 90-minute game, that they had a clear problem with the young woman refereeing the soccer game—although if the truth be told—for the parents and people who behave like this—the gender of the referee is immaterial.
In any case, from the sidelines, the usual insults from some of the parents were thrown at Ana Lopéz, the 19-year-old who refereed the game, but the young goalkeeper did not think twice about interrupting the game to take the referee's defense.
"Can't you see she's crying? Stop!" He started shouting at the spectators. Then he went to the referee and told her, "You're doing it right."
It can be disappointing to see episodes like this at sports games especially when there are children involved. However, these incidents can also be used by parents, children, coaches, and referees to learn how to behave appropriately at sporting events.

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