I’m Chuck Wilson with an ESPN Radio Extra Point.
You have seen the headlines…”Father Sues Canadian Bantam Hockey League after 15-year-old Son Fails to Win MVP Award”.
The suit seeks $300,000 for psychological and punitive damages and the awarding of “Top Playmaker” and “MVP” awards to son Steven, who led his league in goals and assists.
You shake your head…”Another obsessive, out-of-control parent losing sight of what is important in youth sports.”
I too, figured the father should have used the perceived slight as a “life lesson” for his son, understanding that life isn’t always fair and rewards don’t always go to the most deserving.
But when I had a chance to interview the father and others this week on ESPN Radio, it became apparent that there is more to the story than meets the eye.
It’s about youth leagues spreading out awards among players, of promises made and not kept, and the clash of cultures in New Brunswick where French-speaking Canadians feel very much in the minority with their English-speaking neighbors.
I’m not suggesting I agree with what the father did, but stories like this one, seldom are as simple as they seem.
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Chuck Wilson is an award-winning host, interviewer, and commentator. He was an original host on ESPN Radio and was with the network for close to 17-years. In 2007, Wilson was named one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America by the Institute for International Sport. He is the founder of Even Field.