Referee Publicly Shames Parents for Behaving Badly

Referee Publicly Shames Parents for Behaving Badly


Youth referee, Brian Barlow, has had enough of overzealous parents. He says parents are aggressive and critical. They yell at refs, over-coach their children from the sidelines and sometimes fight parents from other teams. This type of poor parental behavior has gone too far. He now runs a website that “publicly shames parents.” He pays $100 for videos that show parents behaving badly at youth sporting events. He has received over 4,000 of such videos. He hopes that this public shaming will encourage parents to objectively look at their behavior and change.

Joe’s Perspective: I created a program to develop the character, leadership and sportsmanship of high school athletes. Many high school coaches tell me that the program should target parents instead of athletes. My guess is referees would agree. I, for one, like the message to parents: “Cheer on your kids. Let the coaches coach, the referees ref and the players play.”  Such a simple message. So, to parents, please remember that this is just a game. Most of the referees are volunteers or get paid minimal money to do this job. Give ’em a break. My guess is they are doing the best they can.

Your Turn: Do you think it is okay for this referee, Brian Barlow, to “publicly shame” parents by posting pictures on his website to help change behavior?


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  1. I feel like that is fine if he doesn’t soecifially use names or certain people, like if the video had blurred out faces that would be better.

  2. Yes, I think that it is fine to shame them as long as he does not point out particular individuals and keep it general. Because he has a valid argument. Parents need to stay controlled

  3. I think it has the ability to be very positive but possibly negative. It can be positive because it can serve as a deterrent for parents who act up. It however could be a negative force, in that with a $100 incentive parents could film more mundane hecklers of referees to simply receive the incentive. This could cause just about anything more than average cheering to be seen as a way for someone to make $100. I think it can possibly, if it became a national thing, cause a lot of parents to be very worried to cheer normally out of fear of being shamed for slightly more than normal cheering. I think this can be positive but shaming people out of behaviors may not be the best.

  4. I do think it is ok but to an extent. I think it is ok because it is showing how badly behaved parents are at middle school games, which may cause others not to want to come act in this way at middle school games. But I also think it is wrong because parents will choose to act however they want and it is up to them to decide how they want to be seen by others.

    1. I agree, the parents are not there to fight for their kids they are there to cheer for them and anything beyond this should be unexpectable.

  5. I don’t think it is a necessarly bad thing because people could use the money and it can show parents that they look stupid when they do stuff like that but there could also be better ways to fix the problem.

  6. I think it is ok for referee, Brian Barlow to do this because he is able to show parents not look like this because it might end up in his facebook page. It will also show parents that it is just a game for your child it’s not the olympics.

  7. I mean I guess it’s okay but I don’t think it will help anything in a huge way and to be paying $100 for the videos is a big loss

  8. Yes, I do do believe that this is okay because honestly I play soccer and this is very relatable. I have seen parents fight and it has become so bad where I am that they have started giving away yellow cards to control this but it doesn’t always work. This is a good way to get people to stop acting this way.

  9. I think that it is okay to publicly shame parents, but In the majority and not specifically or saying names. The parents are the reason, but the person needs to have more background and play a longer clip of what happened before

  10. I think that it is okay for Brian to publicly shame them. The one guy in the video said that after watching the video on how he behaved, in the moment, he felt really stupid and said he would try to change his attitude.

  11. I think it is okay to publicly shame parents because I think they need to see how obnoxious they are and how embarrassing it is to their child to see their parent acting out like that and not being very mature in the moment.

  12. I think this is okay to publicly shame parents because people need to know how uncontrollable parents act at sporting events.

  13. I feel like it’s fine and what the parent did was uncalled for and since he didn’t use a name or anything like that it’s good because instead of people finding her and harassing her over the internet people can learn from this

  14. I think that all parents should cheer the players on but, no parents should be yelling at the player,coaches, or refs saying negative or rude things. Part of a teams sportsmanship is not only how the player act but, also how the coaches and spectators act.