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April 10, 2005
Stupid Parents Ruin Youth Sports, Part XXXVII

I haven't commented much on the shooting of football coach Gary Kinne by Jeffrey Doyle Robertson, simply because the story speaks for itself. A lunatic father who couldn't deal with the fact that his son had to work within a team environment, where life isn't always fair, decides to resolve the situation by murdering the coach. It's yet another example, if an extreme one, of how parents ruin youth sports by living their glory dreams vicariously through their children and losing all perspective.

However, one quote from Robertson's family points out that the stupidity and lunacy might have a genetic component, one his lawyers might want to pursue. Despite a history of violence in the community, his relatives blame the victim for Robertson's attack:

Police have said they dont believe any one incident triggered the shooting. Robertson had a long reputation of being a hothead and starting fights, but hed been quiet in recent months, police chief Mike Echols said.

But Rhonda Miller, a cousin of Robertsons wife, said Friday that Robertson is a good family man driven to violence by an athletic department and school administration that wouldnt act on his concerns.

Miller would not give specifics on his beef with coaches except to say that he believed his son was being treated unfairly.

OK -- so the family position is that picking up a gun and shooting a teacher is an acceptable resolution for a dispute over playing time? "Good family men" do not gun down unarmed coaches in cold blood.

If Robertson's family wants to help him out, they should really learn to keep their mouths shut when reporters come into town. In the meantime, perhaps the schools in the area should rethink the entire family's participation in athletics if Miller's statement represents their thinking.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 10, 2005 9:05 AM

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