Recently a young man named Robbie Lopez, a former Los Altos High School baseball player is in the process of suing the school district and his former coach Gabriel Lopez. Robbie Lopez claims that his high school coach harassed and bullied him by NOT PLAYING HIM. The boy’s parents are seeking $150,000 in the lawsuit.
Lopez’s father cited one incident in particular:
“Among the incident, the suit singles out is the annual alumni game, in which the varsity team plays against former Los Altos players. It states that “the game is supposed to be a fun day; especially for seniors on the team” and that “every senior on the team played except for” Robbie Lopez.”
The boy’s father, Robert Lopez II, believed the coach’s decision to bench his son throughout the season was because he complained to the district’s athletic director after a disagreement over a fundraising game.
This story is absurd, like something out of the twilight zone absurd. How did American sports get to the point where a player feels it’s justified to sue his former coach for harassment and bullying because the guy refused to play him. Lopez should not only learn to move on but learn that life is not going to be this stroll through the park where everyone gets to play and everyone gets a trophy or ice cream after the game.
Sports used to be an invaluable tool to demonstrate the value of hard work, dedication, and teaching children that life is going to deal you bad breaks. It’s how you evaluate and overcome the obstacles in your way.
If you watch the Little League World Series, you will notice an increased amount of ‘hugs’ and ‘saying sorry’ after a pitcher hits a batter. What’s the point in this? When a batter steps to the plate, he should know that there is a chance he is hit with an incoming pitch.
Just the way you step to the plate of life, people are not only going to throw pitches at you but they are not going to say sorry or give you a hug after they do it. It’s on you to dust yourself off and head to first base.
Another disgusting trend is when a player hits a home run and is congratulated by the infielders while rounding the bases. There is a fine line between good sportsmanship and being way too friendly with your opponent. This would land on the latter side of the two. Also, this gesture is a blatant sign of disrespect to your pitcher who just gave up the home run to this kid you high-fived.
If you’re challenged by an opponent, you’re going to want to beat them while on the playing field. There is no problem with being friends off the field, but between the lines, your only focus as a baseball player and in life is to win against the opponent in front of you.
Lopez, like many other little leaguers, have bought into this ideology that life (like little league sports) will always be fair and just. And that your opponent wants to be your ‘friend’ and not see you lose.
This trend in America needs to stop as it is weakening the upcoming generations. It starts with going back to teaching hard work and resilience in American youth sports.