Just over a week has elapsed, since I attended a championship basketball game which was the most tense in my (growing) experience.
The players were all about 13 and 14 years old. The teams were evenly matched. It was a game played with great Heart and skill, and there was not excessive heat on the court.
The issue was growing tension between adults. Coaches and fans did more than glare at each other. There was yelling. I was not close enough to hear most of it, but it started and stopped at intervals. There was a security guard present, later one or two police officers. It was more than unnerving.
I am haunted by my misbehavior, my absence of intervention.
My first trainings in nonviolence were when I was 18. That's nearly 30 years ago.
In a different context, I think I would have tried to use humor or music or distraction or all of the above.
This kind of scene is one I have read about. I posted a few comments on Facebook, and received almost no reaction.
Ironically, the report from one athlete was that during and after the game, thanks to conversations with a few opponents (with whom there was some history), their friendships grew a few strides.
If anyone reading this has any links or experience -- not necessarily with basketball, but with any youth sporting violence-- or comments, I would be very grateful. I think my blogger profile has my email, so that's another way to respond.
These two teams will be playing each other again in February.
Thanks, in advance.