Letter: Leading by (poor) example

I’ve attended Rappahannock County High School sporting events for several years now and I am increasingly dismayed with the rudeness of many fellow spectators. I know most of our parents and fans, and they are all good people who make Rappahannock County a special place. People from other schools who don’t know that are finding it hard to believe.

As Americans, we feel our right to free speech justifies about anything we want to say in public. But we have to realize how our behavior reflects on our players, our school and even the whole county. It’s all too easy to become known as the “rude” people.

I have never seen a game where barking insults at the officials or the opposing team ever changed the outcome, so I’m not sure what poor sportsmanship from the stands actually accomplishes, other than making us all look bad. There are two spectators that come to mind as I write this.

One of them is a Rappahannock school board member and the other one is an employee of the high school. For some reason, these two adults feel entitled to yell insults at the officials, direct slurs to the players and coaches on the opposing team, and even shout at our own team.

During baseball season, I have even witnessed this school board member keep score at the baseball game and call plays over the coach. Is this individual a school board member or a coach?

I would hope both of these adults set an example and abide by the policies expected the rest of the county. All of us need to demonstrate good sportsmanship regardless of the score. We teach our children far more by how we act than by what we say to them. I encourage everyone to be good role models for our children’s sake.

A disappointed but hopeful fan,

Mildred Adams
Rocky Mount, Va.

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