A culture of entitlement
I am writing to you after hearing about an incident that has happened with the U-14 boys’ soccer rep team. My son started out with this team when it was first founded as what is called a demonstration team. He played for a year or so. He quit and I think it is important to talk about why he quit.
He was never hazed, but he also never felt comfortable with that group of kids.
When he was there, it was never a team really, so much as a group of players.
When it came around time for their first out of town tournament, he told me he didn’t want to go. He said he didn’t feel comfortable with some members of the team in Whitehorse and he sure as heck wasn’t planning to go out of town with them.
He eventually quit playing with them altogether because he felt that there was a clique of players who disrespected other players. They also were intentionally rough for no reason. When what I saw supported what he was saying, I agreed he should quit the team.
The climate of the team was brought up to the coach. He said he was aware there was a problem, but nothing changed while my son was there. All this was about two years ago.
The problems in U-14 are longstanding. They affect many more than just the players directly involved in the hazing incident.
My son has played soccer for nearly 10 years and would have stayed on the team had it been different. There were other friends of his who also quit the team for similar reasons. We found the lack of accountability extremely frustrating.
Soccer is not the only sport that this type of thing happens. Whitehorse is also not the only place it happens.
What concerns me about Whitehorse is the elitist culture around sport that has developed where athletes feel a sense of entitlement based on the attitude of parents, coaches, sporting groups and Whitehorse society.
I coached or acted as a co-ordinator for many years with soccer until I had an incident at one of the Yukon Soccer Association tournaments.
When three coaches came to me, as tournie co-ordinator, and complained that one coach was not playing players fairly, leaving the experienced ones on for the whole game at the expense of less experienced ones, I approached that coach.
The coach’s reply was that the experienced players played harder than the others and so had earned the right to play more — in other words were entitled to play more. The end result of this for me was that by bringing this forward, I was not asked to coach again for several years while that coach continued on.
My daughter tried to play in the now defunct Whitehorse baseball league but quit due to overt sexism against her (one of only two or three girls willing to try out this sport).
While her coach was supportive, she was subjected to many very negative comments from one of the other coaches who referred to her as ‘that girl.” We talked to the baseball co-ordinator as well but with no positive outcome.
I hope this incident with soccer sparks an intersport committee who oversees incidents of bullying, racism or sexism.
Individual sports can be too dependent on interested-party volunteers to police themselves. An objective intersport committee is long overdue.
Our kids deserve better.
Travesty of land-
Re Driving a stake through the heart of land-use planning (the News):
OK, let me see if I get this:
We have modern treaties and land claims with First Nations. OK.
We have a land-use planning process — like for the Peel watershed. OK.
But anybody with a sledgehammer and a bucksaw can walk in and stake anywhere for mining.
Even if all they ever do is run a bulldozer in to their ‘claim’?
And everybody else is supposed to just stand back and let the ‘miners’ do this?
What happened to land-use planning?
And this is supposed to be legal under the Yukon Quartz Mining Act?
Change the act!
I support the decision by the new owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Whitehorse, Tracey Keefer, to phase out tobacco sales in her business.
As someone who recently lost a dear relative to cancer who was a life-long tobacco smoker, I would like to acknowledge Keefer’s courage on this issue.
I encourage other Yukon pharmacies and retail outlets to follow the true leadership she demonstrates on public health issues in the territory through her actions.