TAUNTON, Mass. (WTVO) — A Little League in Massachusetts will enter the playoffs without officiating after their umpires were threatened by parents and coaches.
According to CBS News, Dominic Damiano, president of the Greater Taunton Amateur Baseball Umpire Association (GTABUA), the umpires receive “profanity, verbal harassment, ‘I am going to meet you in the parking lot.’ It gets overbearing when it starts to affect the kids, and the kids see it. That’s a line crosser right there.”
After a recent game, parents harassed two umpires after they called the play back after the batter connected for a two-run double. The umpires ruled they did not put the ball in play, and the batter was then struck out.
Damiano said parents and coaches became verbally abusive during the handshake line. At least two parents threatened to attack them in the concession stand and later in the parking lot, umpire Paul Nadeu said.
“We threatened to call police, and one gentleman pulled the other gentleman away, and said you’re lucky because this guy is a cop,” said Nadeu. “As soon as we got in the parking lot that gentleman was out there waiting for us, and more people followed us out, and continued to accost us, start a fight, call us names.”
The GTABUA responded by suspending all officiating in the league.
“I am not sending anyone over there that can be in harms way,” Damiano said.
“Little League has a code of conduct that you sign every year as a parent about how you are going to act on the field,” says Nadeu.
In response, the league itself said it had suspended all involved parties and offered to hire police or remove fans entirely, but the GTABUA says officiating won’t return.
The umpires and the league are set to meet with Taunton’s mayor to try and come up with a solution.