It was a dark day for high school football in the state of Massachusetts yesterday. Long time Duxbury coach Dave Maimaron was fired after allegations surfaced last week that the program was using inappropriate language at the line of scrimmage when making line calls.
I don’t personally know Coach Maimaron well, but in my dealings with him, he has been a class act and a gentleman. He was a guest on the Coaches Chat last fall. He did a great job of promoting the program and the kids. I am not going to cast judgement on him or his character in this piece. It is not my place.
Let me be clear however. What happened at Duxbury was wrong and unacceptable. It shouldn’t happen anywhere. It doesn’t matter what day in age we are talking about. Using Anti-Semitic terms or the names of attractive mothers to make line calls is abhorrent. There is no place for this type of language in the game!
I have taught history for 16 years. I have taught both the Holocaust and various women’s rights movements throughout history. I cannot understand for the life of me why a football program would used a tragic event from our past or the names of random mothers as part of their line call system?
My other concern of course is the affect this will have on the game. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people are irrational and cast judgement at the drop of a hat. The actions of one coaching staff and one program shouldn’t affect an entire sport but they will because that’s the kind of messed up world we live in now.
Despite what is happening right now and what the mood is, the game is bigger than this and the sport will overcome it.
It will take time but as coaches, we are the protectors of the game. It is up to us to make sure we do right by the game and represent ourselves, the program, our players, our schools and our communities the right way.
If we don’t, what happened at Duxbury will not only affect that program, it will affect all programs. Football in Massachusetts is already struggling to attract athletes thanks to concussions and other factors. Incidents like this don’t help. They only hurt the public’s perception of the game and football culture.
Our sport deserves better, our players deserve better and our communities deserve better. We must all learn from what happened at Duxbury and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
What happened at Duxbury saddens me. Good people made bad choices and now the sport many of us love is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Time heals all wounds. For now, coaches need to continue to coach and ensure that all the valuable life lessons football teaches us are taught daily. We can turn a negative into a positive by leaning on our core values and doing what is right.