ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Now that a new school year has begun, sporting events are about to kick off, and both Albuquerque Public Schools and the New Mexico Activities Association said they’ve seen an increase in negative behavior from parents and fans.
“Confrontations, conflict… poor conduct with officials,” APS Director of Athletics Kenny Barreras said
As a part of the NMAA’s Compete with Class initiative, they’re not targeting the players, but rather parents and fans.
“Parents we ask that you buy into our sportsmanship initiative,” said the NMAA director in a video shown to all parents and student athletes statewide.
In the video, students share their testimonials of what they’ve experienced.
“A negative situation going on during a game, it definitely changes the mood, and the purpose of the game,” said a student in the video.
Another is heard saying, “My dad just got up and started screaming.”
The students expressed being sick of parents being ejected from games.
Barreras said it’s a growing problem that they’re seeing more of each year, not just throughout APS or statewide, but nationally.
“It’s not every adult in every place that is acting this way, it is a very small percentage. But that very small percentage is very evident,” Barreras said.
He said the increase is the reason why NMAA pushed for a different emphasis in a portion of this year’s pre-season video.
“Parents are very passionate about athletic programs, and the same time we want to make sure that they’re cheering on and doing things the right way from the stands,” Dusty Young, NMAA Associate Director said.
Barreras said they have a spectator code of conduct and they’re hoping everyone will abide by it.
“We forget this event is for the kids,” he said.
That’s something the kids hope their parents will remember as well.