Parents who refused to wear masks outdoors while they were watching their kids play have reportedly been harassed by the president of a Seattle-area children's soccer league. The police was also called on the scene, according to the Post Millennial.
How did things come about?
The family of seven, with children ages 1-11, was stopped when they arrived at the park in King County. They were then told by the West Seattle Soccer Club League President Chip Goss that each parent could only come inside with one child, according to the news outlet. This went on despite the fact that other families were entering the area together.
The president eventually agreed to let the family in the park, but only if they agreed to watch the game from behind a nearby baseball diamond, further away from other spectators and the soccer field.
The family was reluctant to do that because the homeless in the neighborhood usually stay near the restrooms portion of the field, but they did comply.
What happened next?
The family accepted the terms, but once inside they could see other larger families in the park, many of which didn’t have masks on. Subsequently the family ran into some friends they hadn’t seen for years, but the president broke up the conversation and immediately hustled them away from each other even though they were a good distance from the field with no one else close by.
After they got to the designated location, the mother and three kids stayed on the spot and the father went inside a dugout closer to where his daughter was playing and sat down to get some relief for his prosthetic leg.
“Probably 80 percent of the people were there with spouses, other adults, grandparents etc., and many had an additional 1-2 kids with them. The coach of our team also had her 2 kids that weren't playing that afternoon, and her husband present for the game (total family of 5) on the field.”, the father said according to the Post Millennial.
After seeing this the father called the rest of the family to the dugout since they would be safer away from the restrooms and get a better view of the game.
They got spotted and things went downhill fast
Apparently, the president saw the family sitting together and an exchange ensued, with police ultimately called to intervene.
The father told The Post Millennial that one of the children was extremely asthmatic and cannot wear a mask, while the 1-year-old wouldn’t keep a mask on. Reportedly Goss admitted that the rules were not being followed by others, but then said the issue was the size of the family and went on to require masks for all of them.
The argument caught on video shows the president clearly standing less than 6 feet from the family, threatening to call the police and then removing his own mask while walking away to call the authorities.
After the game Goss reportedly approached the family to let them know that the two children had been removed from the league and were permanently banned from any future participation.
The family felt “devalued, not human”
The incident was extremely hurtful. “We were treated like criminals for wanting to watch our daughter play soccer, and the rules weren't even closely followed for anyone else. We were obviously discriminated against, and embarrassed as he was yelling at us and people were watching, looking over. Our children are devastated that after waiting to play for 18 months, my one son got 3 games, and my daughter got 2, and now we are kicked out of the community permanently”, the family told the news outlet.
The league has issued the following statement:
“West Seattle Soccer Club prioritizes the health and safety of its members, including following Covid 19 protocols of Washington state, King County, and Washington Youth Soccer. Persons who repeatedly refuse to comply with these rules when asked and otherwise violate their agreed code of conduct forfeit the privilege to participate in our programs.”
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