Soccer parents

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kudos to Tribune sports writer Kurt Kragthorpe for expressing so well in "The death of respect" (Tribune, May 7) what many of us in the sports officiating world have said many times to each other.

When things do not go well for a parent's child or the team, parents often see officials as targets for their frustrations.

In my four decades of umpiring baseball, from Little League through Division 1 NCAA and some minor league pro games, I have never been physically assaulted. However, I have had comments during and after games that angered and occasionally frightened me.

Such lack of respect and aggressiveness stem from lack of parental control over their young. My dad firmly instilled in me that "we do not boo" anyone, be it officials, opposing players or coaches.

Think about that the next time you are at a game with your 5-year-old.

Gerry Leonard

Salt Lake City