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by Julie W.

My 11-year-old son joined a football team through a local Optimist club a couple months ago. In the past few weeks during the team cheers they have told the boys to say some cuss words to "pump up the team" and this last Saturday during the pre-game meeting (team only) they played some "gangster rap music" with a lot of profanity and violence. I filed a complaint yesterday morning with my name and phone number, which my husband said was a big mistake because by including my name and phone number that singled our son out for abuse from the coaches (6 of them) and the other 36 boys on the team. Well, my husband was right, our son walked right into the lion's den yesterday to practice football. The coach immediately singled him out and began making him do "grass drills" and run the double tires at least 30 times. Finally he got right over our son and started in on him about how he doesn't participate in the team (profanity containing) cheers, etc. (remember ladies, this is a football coach yelling at the top of his lungs all the time, in his face, MAKING an example out of my baby) .

Well, our son stepped to the coach, in HIS face, very loudly (not disrespectfully but with FORCE), SETTING an example for ALL the boys and said "You WON'T hear me participating in those cheers because I DON'T CUSS!! I came here to play FOOTBALL, not to CUSS!"

The coach was SPEECHLESS and just looked at our son for a few seconds and then walked away. He went back over to our son and said I want to talk to your parents after practice about your lack of participation. Then, before practice was over the coach called the team together and CHANGED one of the cheers from saying the "A" word to saying the word "head."

When we spoke to him (with his entourage) after practice, he told us he was changing everything and there would be no more children cussing and if our son wanted to excuse himself from the meetings when the music was playing that there would be no repercussions. The assistant coaches were more than a little ticked and with voices raised offered the information that he has NEVER changed things like this for any parent (he said parent because our son is the first child who has stood up to him) before. (That is the favor of God, isn't it?)

Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that my son stood up for what he believed to be right, and stood up to someone he was very afraid of. He told me that he knew that every time he takes the field, Jesus takes the field right with him and he didn't want to have to explain to the Lord why he wouldn't change (or try to change) what he knew was wrong.

I must point out that we are a football family. We love the game. My dear husband played for YEARS and we do LOVE it. Cussing is extremely common (as I am sure you know) but forcing someone against their beliefs should not be. This football program is very good as far as the game itself goes and like our son said, he came to PLAY.

Every day before practice or a game, he can get his spirit getting ready for the battle he faces every day and he does not take this lightly. We are very proud of him for standing up for what is right and to someone he greatly feared before yesterday.

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