Referee quits youth football with letter attacking 'despicable' parents

A children’s football referee chief has quit after launching an astonishing attack on the parents he has “come to despise”. 

Avery Krut, a referee and administrator for the Beverly Hills American Youth Soccer Organization, sent out an email obtained by website The Ankler that explained why he refused to stay in his job. 

“I have come to despise so many of you and I hold so many of you in contempt,” he wrote. 

“Your behaviour on the sidelines has, for far too long, been disrespectful and you are damaging the children. You have said nasty things to and about too many referees and it must come to an end.

“I can no longer be involved with so many people who feel so entitled. People threatening to write up a referee because he was wearing a protective boot was the last straw. The behaviour on the sidelines has been despicable too often.”

He said that he would continue to referee, but was quitting all administrative matters.  

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“So, I’m done… and it’s your loss,” he added. 

Mr Krut was an unpaid volunteer with the league for around 15 years as a coach, a referee and a parent, LA Weekly reported. 

Alex Grossman, the organisation’s regional commissioner, sent a follow-up email to parents criticising Mr Krut’s choice of words. 

“We on the board value, respect, and appreciate all of the hard work the volunteers in our region put forth to help the kids in our community play a game they enjoy with their friends,” he wrote in an message titled “Unfortunate Email Today”. 

“We look forward to a fun and successful end of the season.”

Email in full:

Parents, Coaches and Referees,

We are all in this together to create a fun, fair and safe experience for the players. However, the “we are all in this together” doesn’t mean that everyone gets to pick and choose how they interact with each other.

The sideline has the toughest job of all. We want parents to cheer and not make comments to the referees, the coaches and nor even to the players that crosses the boundary of being the cheering squad. This is a tough job. Impulse control is incredibly hard, particularly when it involves our children.

The job of the Referee crew is to apply the Laws of the Game, as best as they can, taking into account the age and player ability. Comments from coaches and parents, even when well meaning, is at best a distraction and, although it may be unintended, disrespectful to volunteers who are just trying to do their best.

We entrust our coaches with precious cargo. Coaches are the direct link to the players. Comments from the sidelines, however well meaning, are at best a distraction and, at worst, disrespectful. Please let the coaches coach, the referees referee and the players play.

If we all follow the rules, the players will benefit the most.

We are all going to make mistakes, referees and coaches alike. But it’s the players who make the most mistakes…and that’s the only way they learn. It’s a lesson we should all heed.

As we finish the regular season and enter the play-offs please be kind to everyone. Take a deep breath and take a few seconds to think about what you are going to say out loud.

As a Referee, as a Coach and as a parent, I know that impulses are hard to control.

So, do it for the kids. Lead by example. Cheer and say nice things.

This will be my last year as your Referee Administrator and I will no longer be the Game Scheduler. And there’s a reason, I have come to despise so many of you and I hold so many of you in contempt.

Your behavior on the sidelines has, for far too long, been disrespectful and you are damaging the children. You have said nasty things to and about too many Referees and it must come to an end.

I can no longer be involved with so many people who feel so entitled. People threatening to write up a Referee because he was wearing a protective boot was the last straw. The behavior on the sidelines has been dispicable (sic) too often.

It’s too bad, the vast majority of you are wonderful people but I need to depart the land of entitlement where too many of you think that everything has to go your way and you take every comment or email I write as a personal attack on something you hold dear, when all I’m doing is trying to get your attention that you have an obligation to volunteer.

So, I’m done…and it’s your loss.

I will continue to referee but I will no longer, as of December 17, be involved in the administrative matters of REDACTED.

Should there be a concerted effort to change the culture in REDACTED, I may consider a return. The Board needs to lead by example and too many behave as if they are the most entitled. Still, it is you, the parent body, who need to make significant changes to your behavior.

You may not like my tone but everything I have written is the truth.

Let’s enjoy the play-offs and let’s be respectful.


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