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Parents Sue After Children Cut From Sports Team

The egregious marriage of helicopter parents and sports fanatics is apparently not just a United States phenomenon.

Two sets of Canadian parents filed suit last week against their local hockey team, The Avalanche Minor Sports Club Midget Junior A Team, after their sons didn’t make the cut.

Parent Vito Velela is quite clear about who has been hurt by his son Christopher’s failure to place: mom and dad. His court filing says he and his wife have been left “demoralized” by the decision to cut their son from the team roster since, after all, they’ve gone “well beyond the call of duty as parents in support of the Toronto Avalanche hockey team for two seasons.”

As for parent David Longo, the father of would-be hockey player Daniel Longo, he’s claiming that team officials caused “irreparable psychological damage” and “destroyed the dignity of my son.”

The only people in this court match-up damaging the dignity of their children are their parents. What’s next? Suing because you didn’t get picked as a chaperone for the fifth grade nature preserve field trip and your child really, really wanted you on the bus?  Or, even worse, suing because you really, really wanted to be on the bus and couldn’t deal with the word “no?”

Officials from the hockey club told the Toronto Star that more than 70 kids tried out for 17 spots on the team. Even the most mathematically challenged parent should have been able to figure out the odds of rejection by the team were quite high and acted to prepare their children to handle the possibility of not getting selected.

It’s stories like this that led Rosalind Wiseman of Mean Girls fame to call many mom and dad volunteers “narcissistic” in Slate’s DoubleX last year. Christopher Velela, at least, is showing more sense than his parents. He’s already signed to play with another team. Here’s hoping his new hockey home offers mom and dad so many opportunities for involvement that they are soon to busy to pursue this ridiculous lawsuit.

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Photo by Jackie

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