Peter Iappelli, a father from New Jersey, is facing criminal charges after he allegedly put his son’s 16-year-old pee wee football coach in a chokehold. The incident occurred during a game last Saturday after Iappelli’s son was rotated out of the quarterback position, which apparently angered the dad.
According to Fred Kritzer, commissioner of the North Jersey NFL Flag Football league, Iappelli walked over to the coach and extended his hand, pretending that he was looking for nothing more than a friendly shake and a quick word about his son. Once Iappelli got close enough, however, he allegedly put the coach into a bear hug which gradually transitioned into a chokehold. Iappelli now faces charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct. Unsurprisingly, the entire family has been banned from the North Jersey NFL Flag Football League.
Youth sports coaches and referees face a shocking amount of harassment from unruly parents, who seem to forget about the basic notion of decency any time their kid’s playing time gets threatened. Parents getting too invested in their kid’s athletic career is a time-honored tradition in America but when it results in threats and violence, it stops being cute and starts being dangerous. It’s just a game, fellas.