American Popular Culture Home American Popular Culture Home
American Popular Culture Home About Americana Contact Americana American Popular Culture Archive
Emerging Pop Culture
Magazine Home
Become a member!
Receive our
Sports in American Popular CultureVisit Press Americana
SportSass: parents, please!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last week, a thirty-six-year-old man, Cory Petero, charged into a youth football league game. He was a parent and a coach upset by events on the field. So he rushed into the action and floored a thirteen-year-old who had just received a late hit penalty for ramming Petero’s son after the play was over.

Petero faced felony child abuse charges. Unfortunately, prosecutors reduced the charges to a misdemeanor because Petero had no previous record, and the boy “wasn’t badly injured.”

Petero will probably get little more than community service and a fine, but I, for one, want to see him do some hard time in jail.

Jim Halm, of Delta Youth Football, has stated that Petero won’t be permitted to coach in the league anymore. This punishment doesn’t come close to what I want to see Petero endure.

For years, parents have lost their civility at their children’s sports events. They have fought verbally and physically with one another, used profanity, and generally set a horrible example for the kids. But a physical assault on a child is another matter altogether.

Nearly three times the age and size of the thirteen-year-old he attacked, Petero could well have killed this boy. As a general rule, women and children are no match for the physical violence of men. For this reason, the former must be protected by societal and moral law.
Emerson once wrote, “There can be no high civility without a deep morality.” On the one hand, I would argue that a lack of deep morality provided Petero the opportunity to commit such a heinous crime.

On the other hand, I would apply this quote as a calling to us to hold Petero to a “high morality” by convicting him of felony child abuse and thus encouraging all of us to attain high civility by showing the consequence of physically assaulting a child and by holding one another to a minimum standard of behavior.

Without civility, without civilization, we are little more than Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz, existing in the heart of darkness, chopping off heads and posting them on poles around our property.

Prosecutors should have stuck to their felony charge, and the judge should punish Petero with the strictest penalty possible.

September 2006

[back to top]

Home | About Us | Contact | Archive

© 2006 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture
Website Created by Cave Painting