Thursday, June 20, 2019

Workplace Violence - Parents Brawl at Youth Game

As MLB distanced itself from MLBUA's workplace violence claim, a violent stands-clearing brawl ignited in Colorado after a youth umpire's warning for bad language led to an argument amongst parents of two 7-year-old baseball teams, who fought on the field as children watched from the stands, leading to police involvement and a league decision to cancel the remainder of the season for the two teams involved.

According to Denver affiliate KUSA's report, parents on both sides of the teams playing in Lakewood, CO were cursing, which drew a warning from the 13-year-old umpire to stop. Someone allegedly questioned why the umpire didn't eject an opposing fan, and the argument escalated from that point.

Parents entered the field of play, a pregnant woman wielded a bat as a weapon, and as a man attempted to take the bat from her, another man appeared to attack him from behind, leading the arguing parents into a full-scale physical brawl. A score of parents wound up fighting on the field, as many of the children ended up watching from the stands.

Glimmers of MLB fights past were in CO.
KUSA reports that the umpire is "really shaken up by what happened...He feels guilty because he couldn't control the game or the parents."

Lakewood Police cited several individuals for disorderly conduct following the brawl, including Ernest Gabriel Vigil, David Anthony Williams, Darren Jearld Garduno, Manuel Miramon Garduno Jr. and Manuel Miramon Garduno.

Lakewood Police Department Public Information Officer John Romero analyzed the video: "It's very sad, at the very beginning of the video, you can see kids running off the field as the adults start fighting and punching each other.

"You think it’s common sense to not do this at any sporting event, especially around kids."

Yet common sense isn't exactly common. Just ask those affiliated with the highest level of baseball.

Manny Machado was ejected in Colorado.
This incident in Lakewood occurs just as the MLB Umpires Association criticized MLB for alleged inaction and a failure to address what MLBUA deemed violence in the workplace involving a Padres player Manny Machado's purported temper tantrum after an umpire's call.

The major league event, coincidentally, also took place in Colorado.

MLB put out a news release in response to MLBUA's claim to decry the umpire union's invocation of the workplace violence motif, writing that MLBUA's use of the term was inappropriate.
Related PostMLBUA Objects to MLB "Inaction" on Machado (6/18/19).
Related PostMLB Rejects MLBUA's Workplace Violence Tweet (6/19/19).

MLB vs Youth: The struggle for a bat.
Gil's Call: Would the Lakewood, CO incident qualify as violence in the workplace? Pursuant to the Department of Labor/OSHA standard, it certainly would. It's often said that things trickle down from the higher levels to the lower ones and the following video show a side-by-side view of the Lakewood, Colorado youth baseball fight and an amalgam of bench-clearing fights at the MLB level. Is a deteriorating environment at the youth level a result of an unchecked lack of sportsmanship from above?

The Bear Creek Junior Sports Association's Executive Board announced it had terminated the season for both teams: "BCJSA would like to apologize to our members and community in regards to the events that took place this past weekend. BCJSA has ZERO tolerance for this type of behavior....PERIOD.  We are embarassed [sic], ashamed and angry that this has taken place.  As of now, the Jeffco Co-Op has ended the season for both teams involved and all BC coaches and parents identified participating in the incident are being removed indefinitely."

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Base Brawl - Lakewood Youth Baseball Parents Fight vs MLB Melees (CCS)


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