Soccer mum's protest backfires

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In an unfortunate end to a story posted two days ago, the young goalkeeper who did not want to play for a soccer team sponsored by Marine Harvest Canada has been dismissed from the Riptide Organization.

Everyone has an opinion – as an NHL payer Willie Mitchell said himself on Twitter “[being able] to stand up for what you believe in is what makes living in North America great”.

But sometimes what you believe in isn’t really what you believe in. It’s what you have been told since you were young by someone you trust and love, and so by association, believe it to your very core. Irrespective of whether it is backed by facts. In some circles this is referred to as brainwashing.

A good analogy might be if you didn’t vaccinate your kids because your mom told you vaccination causes autism. No facts required. Just a bunch of people going off what someone else told them to be true.

Unfortunately, in this particular case, the young impressionable mind of a 14-year-old girl was made to vehemently oppose fish farms by her mother, a long-standing follower of Alexandra Morton’s irrational and uncompromising anti-fish farming campaigns.

And when the pair found out Marine Harvest Canada was the corporate sponsor of the child’s soccer team they were not pleased. And made everyone aware of their dissatisfaction, including starting a Facebook page to trash-talk the company.

And after being asked repeatedly to cease publicly trashing the corporate sponsor (which went as far as a suspension of the entire girls’ team over the weekend) the family was unable to accept the club’s requests, and the teen was dismissed from the team.

In a press release announced October 29th, the soccer organization explained the situation: “The Upper Island Riptide regrets to announce that a Riptide member and our soccer program are unable to reconcile our differences. Today, the soccer program and player will part ways.

"This decision does not come easily, but after repeated breaches of the program’s code of conduct and feedback from the wide majority of team players, their families, and program volunteers, this collective decision has been made.

“While we respect the values that the family holds dear, we must also respect the values and expectations of the other 140 members and their families.

“Our decision to part ways with one member was done to ensure our other players, volunteers, and coaches can enjoy a safe and enjoyable environment. Our program has and always will, act in the best interests of all our players.”

Instead of accepting concessions put forth by the club (eg wearing a different jersey, not participating in any sponsor-associated events, no longer trash-talking the sponsor), the family decided to pull their daughter from this elite organization – an organization they chose to move closer to for the benefit of the teen’s soccer career.

Just to clarify:

Because of this woman’s inability to control her irrational hatred for the sponsor (a local fish-farming company that has donated thousands of dollars and volunteer hours to local communities all over Vancouver Island), her daughter will no longer be a part of an elite organization that would further her athletic aspirations.

Had the teen's parents been properly educated on the facts about fish farming in BC, this embarrassment could have been avoided. This turn of events can be regarded as a lesson for young people everywhere, not to distrust your parents, no. But question the facts, and moreover, question the source of those facts, since many of them will be strongly biased. Especially when they're coming from a known antagonist who has always endeavored to discredit the fish farming industry in BC.