A youth baseball umpire in New Jersey was violently attacked by a coach, leaving the 73-year-old umpire with a broken jaw that would later have to be wired shut during surgery.
According to NJ Advance Media, the incident happened earlier this month in Branchburg and occurred during a 13-and-under U.S. Amateur Baseball League tournament game.
Leading up the attack, the coach began arguing with the umpire and was ejected. The coach later returned, punched the umpire in the face and fled the scene.
“Even as police and EMT’s were providing medical attention to the umpire, other parents from the same team were heard shouting expletives at the umpire and saying things like, ‘He deserved it,’” according to a post from the league on the USABL’s Facebook page.
The incident has been reported to the police and is under investigation.
“The environment for youth sports has become toxic,” league president Brian Delahant told NJ Advance Media. “No one can lose a game anymore without blaming somebody else. We need to teach our kids that they’re not going to win every game they play and how to lose with respect for both their opponents as well as the officials on the game.”
The umpire is recovering and recently attended the game of the other team that witnessed the attack “to show the kids he was OK and support their team, as the kids were pretty shaken witnessing this.”
The coach of the New York Prospects who attacked the umpire has been suspended pending an investigation and faces a full ban from any of the team's future games, per the organization's zero tolerance for physical violence policy.
“When has winning a plastic trophy become more important than the welfare of another human being?” wrote Cambria, who founded the travel program 2006. “My prayers for a speedy recovery go out to this umpire and all officials that have been abused by parents who just don’t get it. It’s a kid’s game that’s supposed to build great memories, not give them nightmares.”