Talk about poor sportsmanship.
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, a youth hockey coach in British Columbia has been arrested after being accused of tripping a 13-year-old opponent in a handshake line after the teen had helped defeat the alleged perpetrator's squad.
Was it intentional?
Taking a closer look at the video, I don't see how there's any debate that the coach's classless act was absolutely deliberate.
What sealed his guilt was the fact that he turned around and pointed at the player he tripped, in a seemingly angry and intense manner.
"The coach was arrested. Charges will be forwarded at a later date, pending the results of the investigation," police told the (Toronto) Globe and Mail.
The incident followed a game played between 10-12-year-old squads from Vancouver and Richmond, so these were obviously very young student-athletes who were no match for an adult coach.
The reports fail to mention what caused the coach to act in such a ridiculous manner. Could it have been that the player he tripped perhaps tripped one of his players during the game?
No one seems quite sure, but the coach shouldn't have taken matters into his own hands regardless of how dirty the opposing team may have been playing.
If the opposing team was playing dirty during the game, the coach should have taken the matter up with the refs or opposing coaching staff.
I wish the video would have kept rolling to see the reactions from the players, parents and opposing coaches. At the 0:16 mark of the video, you hear a man's voice saying "Woah, woah, woah!"
You also see one of the players get up and start skating towards the coach who tripped him. I'm wondering if one of the parents on hand confronted the perpetrator after this ugly incident.
Luckily, no one was seriously hurt. The victim used his wrists to break the fall, but he only suffered minor injuries and no bone breaks.
Setting A Good Example
With so much emphasis on sportsmanship at the youth level, and trying to get players to follow the image portrayed by coaches, this incident was a major setback to Canadian hockey.
Coaches are supposed to act like role models and mentors, and this kind of behavior can't be tolerated.
Should this coach be banned for life from coaching at the youth level? Does he deserve jail time?
Time will tell what the investigation reveals, but this coach has a lot of explaining to do.
What should happen to the Canadian youth hockey coach who tripped a player in the postgame handshake line? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden has been covering Long Island high school sports since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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