Dear Eli: One of my children’s middle school coaches posted some really strong political posts on their social media page. I try to keep this as vague as possible to avoid causing any trouble to anyone, but please listen to me. When I was in school, the teachers, the coaches, the principals… all of them tried very hard not to push their political views on the children. I remember sitting in a civics class talking about the two different sides, and one of my classmates asked our teacher which side he was on. This teacher skillfully avoided the question, bringing the conversation back to the facts on both sides. This does not appear to be the case today.
The coach I mentioned earlier is not the only public school employee I have seen doing political posts online. And these are not just ordinary positions. These are blatant and extreme views that I believe could seriously affect the mind of a 13 year old.
I can’t help but wonder if this coach shares these same thoughts with the players in the locker room or on long bus trips to games. As you can probably imagine, I don’t think this is fair, but I don’t know what to do about it. Thoughts?
– Keep your politics private, coach
Dear politicians, coaches should train. Teachers should teach. And all kinds of personal opinions regarding politics should be kept – you guessed it – personal.
I have no way of knowing the nature of these posts posted by your kid’s coach or what party this guy is lining up to, and thank you for omitting that information.
Because the promotion of one party or the other does not matter to the children. A coach has no reason to push his own political agenda on his players. By nature, a coach is in a position of power. If he chooses to abuse that power and promote a certain political point of view, that is simply wrong.
If a player trusts a coach / teacher to come and see him and ask him what he thinks about a certain problem, then that’s different. This means that the child trusts this person. The adult should however be careful not to swing the child in one way or another. Just give your thoughts and let the child come to their own conclusion.
But what can you do about this coach and his social media blitz? As long as he doesn’t make obscene or obscene posts, probably not much. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Let’s just hope this guy is smart enough to keep those opinions to himself when it comes to kids.
Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. Send your questions for “Athletic Support” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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