Was it right to identify the high school baseball player for urinating in public during the national anthem? This columnist thinks so

It happened at Powell Valley High School in Virginia, and a local columnist defends his decision to identify the teenager for doing it. It’s one of the ironies of journalism: We can spend 13 months on a controversial series that eventually wins the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and not receive a single criticism from readers. And then we run a daily story on a high school athlete urinating on a baseball field during the National Anthem and the floodgates open. Such was the case with our Thursday story about a Powell Valley High School student in Big Stone Gap, Va. The sophomore and star quarterback, the son of a coach/physical education teacher, urinated in public last month on a $20 bet. What if this happened in our backyard, how do you think we should handle it?

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  • LetEmPlay

    It’s practically a kids job to push on the boundaries of his community and it’s the communities job to push back in a way that straightens out the boy and sets the tone for any other boy who wants to push on those boundaries.

    I don’t see where making this kids name public is necessary to get that job done. In this decision the paper went beyond it’s role and it seems like it’s going out of the way to stain the kid for life over a stupid, childish prank. The school, police and parents should be able to correct this matter without the editorial staff of the local paper taking matters into their own hands. There’s no question of freedom of press. I agree they press has the right to publish the kids name. I just disagree that it’s a decision I would be proud of if I were associated with that story.

  • I think we all would have preferred that this athlete would have conducted business by/on himself (yes, I said it) while respecting the ceremonial process, and suffer the embarrassment and praise for his respect of a tradition that is as old as apple pie. It would have left a much better “stain.”

    But hey, cut the kid some slack. When you got to go, sometimes you just have to go. Isn’t that what Forest Gump told the President? HA!

    Laurence Todd

  • Trojan Man

    This is EXACTLY what is wrong with US AS A NATION !

    YES his name should be exposed , YES he should be SUSPENDED ! NO EXCUSES !

    Fight On

  • What?!?

    The kid takes a bet, and pees on the baseball field, during the national anthem. He deserves what he got! If my kid does that, I promise to post it myself, after I make him wear a sign around his neck while standing on the corner stating “I peed on the baseball field in public during the national anthem”. Come on…this wasn’t a “mistake”, or a “bad decision” or even a “childish prank”… this was criminal behavior! Have him take that bet but only to do that in front of your house on your grass and see if you dont call the cops!

  • Middle Class Indifference, youthful rebellion is all it was

    Todd he didn’t have to go he did it to win a $20 bet. Changes things don’t it? Wonder what would people say if this incident happened at an inner city game

  • As my uncle used to say, “Mother Fletcher!!!”

    I would have punched him in the face. Pee during the National Anthem in front of me and I’ll take you down and drag your punk ass to home plate and kick the snot of of you in front of everyone. When the judge tells me why I did it I’ll pull my wanker out and pee in his court room and see what he has to say.

    The nerve, while kids are dying overseas this dckweed thinks this is funny.

    My uncle did two tours in Vietnam to become a citizen. He’s a proud Marine who would have probably asked some one, “Point out his father”. Then kicked the crap out of him and told him, “what the hell you teaching that kid?”

  • Rosanne Barr

    What’s the big deal?

  • LetEmPlay

    I’d prefer a good corporal punishment to what the “nonviolent” alternatives are. Preferably the dad or some member of his family could take care of this the good old fashioned way. I think our prohibitions against common sense punishments force us into MUCH uglier reactions like ruining the kids life with a story that will never go away on the internets.

  • Old Guys Rule

    Hey old man, I’m one too, so don’t be offended but the internet has something new every second, literally!

    This isn’t ven news when it gets to us old guys

  • uh ok…

    Nothing shocks me anymore about the youth of America.

    Heck, last night at a San Dimas Junior League game – the catcher flipped off a number of the parents from the opposing team and the umpire and San Dimas parents thought nothing of it – respect is out the window!

  • parenting 101

    LetEmPlay said:
    I’d prefer a good corporal punishment to what the “nonviolent” alternatives are. Preferably the dad or some member of his family could take care of this the good old fashioned way.

    The problem most likely is, the Family hasn’t done anything in the past to teach the (child) how to act in public so why would you expect any correction now? At what age do we hold or children accountable for their actions?

  • Amat softball dad

    This kid deserves more than a scolding! I would have him punished by having remove caskets of our deceased soldiers who have given their lives to defend the right for this dickweed to be able to do this.
    I usually don’t comment on baseball articles however, this a-hole showed no respect to any former or still serving soldier that has served their country. As a veteran that served during Nam I’m pissed that someone would sell his countries respect for any amount much less $20, and anyone who defends him, no matter what your view of the war is, can move to another country that wouldn’t put you in prison for saying so…If you can find a country like that….SEMPER FI

  • Kanye West and Brittany Spears…

    20$??..was there really money involved??…why didnt we think of this…

  • kh

    its the land we sold out on so the rest can piss free.
    its like i piss in the fan,by i shower freely.
    the vets.
    what respest for the men and woman who served and honor our country with there lifes,
    but in due time like all things it will blow over,the great fighter ali went north of the border dodgeing the war,we all for gave him,it was like ill take all your hard earned dollars but wont put his sorry ass life on the line for the greatest u.s.a.
    hes just a kid and whos knows later he could be a strong soilder fighter for our freedom,
    give it to god and lets not post judgement on some thing we have no control over.man i hope fred dosent have a son and he ever dose anything stupit like teenager do,should we bring him forth for the blog hanging,this crap should be left out on our local blog fred,i know alot of things in our area that would just crush the players and there parents,thank god you dont know anything about them,they would of been hung all ready.let the courts do there job and you guys do yours.whos pitching for bonita today and s.h today ,thats what we want to here from you guys.

  • Baseball NUT!

    Middles class indfference,

    IF this kid was in the “Inner City” the ACLU, NAACP, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton, would be marching down the street and all over the TV. His family would probalby would have filed 2.5 million suit against the paper for giving out his name. YEP, PEOPLE do get treated different for living where they do. Just a thought, but where are the above mentioned people, and groups for that little kid who was beaten by his WOMAN teaher? They will never show bcasue its “black on black” and thats sad. Their nothing but race baiters!

    As for the actual kid, I’m sure he thought nothing of it when he took the bet. Weather his name was released or not, it would have ome out as being at a sporting event pretty much everyone there knew his name. His arrest for indecent exposure is justified. I’m sure his small fine and community svc. will be enough.

  • New York

    People can be arrested for urinating in public. If the police had arrested him, then it would have been in public records, right? I once read that in Australia drunk drivers names are published in their local newspapers for a week straight.

    As the article mentioned, this happened in a very small town where word spreads quickly. The fact that the journalist menioned the kids name probably did very little to spread the word locally. With blogs (we all know about blogs), word may have spread quickly without the journalist.

    Bottom line, kids need to learn very quickly that everything they do will potentially be blogged about and will surface anytime a college admissions officer or potential employer decides to Google their name.

    Be careful.

  • wow

    never in a million years thought that i would blog the following words……..Well said KH!!!

  • Holden

    The split second this douche bag pulled out his hose IN PUBLIC he forfeited his right to privacy. It’s actually a good thing that his name has been published because otherwise there would have been absolutely no consequences for his behavior. Daddy is a teacher and Junior is a “star” athlete. Don’t insult me by insisting that the kid was punished by the school. Daddy probably laughed about it and then took him out for ice cream.

  • kh

    it was wrong .
    but the kid did show some balls.well maybe co=k.
    remember we use to take showers in 7th 8th grade and things were kool back them,if you had to take a link,your mom or dad would pull the car over and out came jr.
    how many walls did you write your name with the magic marker,
    hes a kid.let it go.
    so if someone wets the bed is it the parents fault for not waking him up every 10 minutes,
    learning the hard way is the only way some of us learn,
    bad learning genes crete bad learning habits.
    here,all the students behind the pank should all be punished the same.
    you rob a bank and your just the driver,too bad, all for one and one for all.
    go bearcats


    You wrong on the fact that Ali went north to Canada to avoid going into the military. He did report but did not take the oath to serve due to his religious beliefs ,which by the way our forefathers fought to establish back in 1776 . You know that little document called the Bill of Rights and the first amendment freedom of religion. He was jailed and had his day in court and was found guilty. He served his sentence and was also stripped of his title . After he served his sentence and later his license to fight was reinstated and the rest is history. It was his religious beliefs that would not allow him to fight his fellow man for what he believed were unjust reasons. So before you put down a great American such as Ali he was only able to do what he did because of the reasons this great country of ours was built on .

  • Kid needs a good ass kicking


    KH has o logic. The kid did it during the National Anthem. Changes every thing. Kids going against walls is not the same thing. Using your magic marker to alleviate the situation of peeing in public is another less offensive deed. The kid should have to unload caskets for a month. His “friend” should be there watching, seeing as that’s all they can do. Then they should have to put flags on grave sites for Veteran’s Day.

    There is no more moving experience than witnessing a Military Funeral. Hearing “Taps” and seeing the family receive the Flag is heart wrenching. I’ve seen young and old hold that flag the same way. It’s that moment when you realize someone stood up for all of us.

    If I was there and he did that I’d have rushed the field and kicked him in the nuts until he crapped his pants. NO GD way I’d ever tolerate that and any one who thinks that a childish youthful prank hasn’t worried about a family member during war. I have.

    I would have expelled the kid on sight! No surprise that Ken would think it’s nothing more than youthful testing of the waters. But then again Ken did mock the Virgin Mary while unprovoked, just for kicks. Kids like this idiot wanker grow up to be the Kens of the world, beyond stupid that any one would see this as anything other than an affront to all of “US”.

    To this day the picture of Rick Monday “saving” a burning American flag from some idiots still moves me. Moved the whole country. What a moment!

  • kh

    am not buying into the american pride.
    my father uncles and many family members have laid rest fighting for the americam dream.its more then a american dream buddy,anybody of any race can came to be american now that they worked the system just like your familys family.you sound like a controlled idoit.you probably have stripes on your work clothes.and i can say what ever i want about what ever i fill the need to decusses.if there were more kennys kids in the world i would be in jail for kicking my sons ass,if he ever did that.we arent talking about my son sir,some redneck cornholer kid with zero pride for his family and the flag of america,
    what my point is it will all blow over as some punk doing some thing stupit.i take it at heart when some jack ass insults my son,mother f=cker.i live in la verne if you will like to talk heres my number let go out sunday on the discovery channel theres agreat show on the veitnam .i will watch it with u .but please,i have rised my son by myself without any woman or govt help and i do send and support vets and the childreds hospitals.and i would of tackle the kid before you kicked his nuts in.everybody always wants to fu=k with me 9093928506 there you go.

  • Little AHoles become Big AHoles

    Ken dumps on the Virgin Mary
    Kid pees during National Anthem

    Stupid is as Stupid does.

  • anonymous

    Hey kh,
    You should of taken advantage of free public schools where they teach you how to spell! reading your blog can get tiring since I kept having to read it over and over to understand what you were trying to get across. I finally just gave up. Feel free to use spell check next time.

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