By now we have all seen the latest viral video to hit You Tube. The scene was hectic as a Marlborough hockey mom, upset that the referees weren’t responding to a fight quickly enough, walked out onto the ice, pocketbook and all, to take matters into her own hands.
It seems that hockey mom, Gina O’Toole, had seen enough and decided that if she didn’t step out onto the ice and set the referees straight, the situation would continue to get out of hand. As a matter of fact she even went so far so far as to “order” the referee off the ice. Needless to say he wasn’t impressed.
In an interview with ABC News she explained, “What concerned me was the feeling of the blows to the back of the head and a child going down to the ice with maybe a potential head injury.”
As for bringing her pocketbook with her it seems that O’Toole wasn’t planning on using it as a weapon. She just didn’t know what else to do with it. In that same interview she joked, “What was I supposed to do with it, throw it into the stands and say, ‘Hey, could you hold this? I have to break up a hockey fight?'”
So, as a sports mom myself, how do I feel about this hockey mom’s actions? That’s a tough call. I do, of course, respect her desire to protect the 16-year-old boys on the ice but, at the same time I completely disagree with her methods and her actions. All in all I guess you could say that her heart was in the right place but her head just wasn’t.
Do I like the idea of 16-year-old boys brawling on the ice? Of course I don’t. Do I think that it’s a mom’s place to march onto any sports field/rink and correct the problem? Absolutely not.
Yes, we as moms do have a tendency to act on impulse when it comes to protecting our kids but, reality is, we also need to learn self control. As moms we all teach our children to think before they act and, as hard a lesson as that is, we sometimes need to learn it also.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my son hit by a poorly placed pitch, tackled by an opposing football player or even down on the basketball court. Yes, the urge is there to run to his aid but, at no point have I ever done that. I have, instead, relied on the coaches, umpires and referees to asses the situation and decide whether or not I was needed. Thankfully, I have never been needed.
It's not that I’m not important it is, however, that I put faith in the individuals trained to handle the situation. Let’s face the facts. Who is better equipped to deal with an injured child or a sports fight, a panicked mom or a calm coach? My money is on the coach.
As parents we sign our children up for sports and know that we are, at the same time, placing our trust in the organization we have signed up with. Yes, we might have grievances along the way, but there is a time and a place to voice those concerns. While waiting for that time and place might seem difficult it is part of being a parent. We teach our children to be patient and, sometimes, we need to remind ourselves to be patient too.
In this case the boys were, indeed, all wearing full hockey gear and helmets and, while I don’t approve of them fighting, I really don’t think that a mom’s intervention was needed to save anyone from serious injury. It wasn’t a good situation but keep in mind these were 16-year-old high school age boys, not grade school children on the playground.
Now, again, I’m not saying that O’Toole should be condemned. I simply think that, perhaps, she should have put a little more thought into her choice to take to the ice. One thing we can all agree on is that, at the time, O’Toole likely thought she was doing the right thing and never expected to make the national news. I’m fairly certain that she never dreamt one quick decision would cause such an enormous stir.
I look at this video as a gentle reminder to always remember that, as moms, we are constantly setting an example for those around us and that we always need to think clearly before we do something we might regret.