Former Boston Bruin and current NHL analyst Mike Milbury has been charged with assault and battery of a 12-year old boy today.
The alleged incident took place at the Anderson Rink in Brookline, Mass last week. Milbury is an assistant coach with the team there, and the incident apparently involved a player on the opposing team.
It sounds like the young player and his son had a game-long battle going on, and they somehow managed to get into a scuffle during a just-for-fun post-game shootout (it was an exhibition game). Apparently Milbury stepped in to separate the two, grabbed the other kid by the cage and shook him. He went so far as to lift the kid off the ice (not by the cage, I presume) before dropping him.
As I mentioned on Twitter earlier today: while “grabbed and shook” sounds a lot less menacing than “assault and battery,” it doesn’t excuse Milbury’s actions. (For more on this, check out Deadspin.)
How enraged do you have to be to become physically involved with a kid that age, especially in front of other people? That’s anger management-level furious, isn’t it?
Being on the other end of that can be a scary time for a kid – I personally remember being around eight or nine and having my coach grab my cage and shake it over lord-knows-what. I remember it well for two reasons: one, it hurt, and two, my Dad saw.
I remember walking out of the dressing room and seeing my Dad with a handful of my coach’s shirt, up against a wall, talking very calmly to him from baseball umpire/manager distance away. I assume he said “please do not ever do that again.” (“…..or I’ll punch your nose through your neck.”)
It’s incredible to me what goes on in minor hockey arenas around the country. Everyone has played on a team with “that Dad” that bellows at his kid on the ice throughout the whole game.
I never got it, honestly. My Dad never said a word to me about my play until we were in the car, and generally only if I asked about something. Both of my parents would shamelessly lie to me and tell me I played well constantly, because their goal wasn’t for me to be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but rather to enjoy the game (and help me improve where they could).
So when I’d see or hear other parents freaking the truck out over some on-ice decision, it would baffle me. It still baffles me, even when it involves Mike Milbury, his son, and some verbal disagreement.
Anyway, before I break off on a longer minor hockey tangent, here comes the oh-so-bold long and short of it: parents should never be so involved in their kid’s sports that they feel the need to physically accost a 12 year old. Yeah. I said it.
Somone had to have the stones to take the hard-line stance. Sorry if that’s too out there for anyone.