Umpire Justin Wheeler officiating a little league game in Manorville...

Umpire Justin Wheeler officiating a little league game in Manorville on June 11. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

A soccer referee’s words to remember

I will always remember the words of a particularly brilliant soccer referee before a youth soccer game that I was coaching [“Exiting the game,” News, June 16].

He looked at my players and said, “Boys, I’m going to make a mistake today and probably more than one. But when you miss an easy opportunity to score a goal by kicking the ball over the bar, I promise I will not yell across the field that you stink!

“And, Coach, when you fail to substitute for a player who is being repeatedly beaten by an opponent, I promise I will not yell across the field, ‘Coach, you stink!’

“So it is very simple. Players, you play. Coach, you coach. And I will officiate the game.”

And I would like to add to this brilliant official’s words: Parents, your role is to model kindness.

— Frank Schmidt, South Setauket

What has our country come to with bad behavior, lack of respect, and lack of self-control?

Many umpires, officials and referees take these jobs for various reasons, but not to be abused, threatened or disrespected. And they give up time with their families.

Things have gotten out of hand. What would be left for our children who love these sports when no one may be left to officiate games? What will the kids do instead?

Many people feel entitled and don’t consider the kinds of role models they are displaying for current and future generations.

There are not enough consequences and penalties for those who do not follow rules or disrespect higher-ups and officials. We keep ignoring most bad behavior and come up with excuses after excuses for it.

We need to take a stance against bad behavior before it’s too late.

— Claire Fuchs, Copiague

Which harms kids more? It’s obvious

More states seek to ban books in order to protect our children [“Welcome pushback on school book bans,” Opinion, June 12]. How many children have been maimed or killed by reading a book, compared with how many children have been maimed or killed by guns?

— Robin Tierney, Massapequa

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