After five years as the referee administrator for Beverly Hills AYSO, Avery Krut is hanging up his whistle. He announced his departure last week with a flourish, emailing parents the reason for his decision: them.
The email, which was first published in Richard Rushfield's The Ankler newsletter, began politely enough — "We are all in this together to create a fun, fair and safe experience for the players," and so on. Then, at around paragraph 10, the tone changes abruptly:
This will be my last year as your Referee Administrator and I will no longer be the Game Scheduler. And there’s a reason, I have come to despise so many of you and I hold so many of you in contempt.
Your behavior on the sidelines has, for far too long, been disrespectful and you are damaging the children. You have said nasty things to and about too many Referees and it must come to an end.
I can no longer be involved with so many people who feel so entitled. ... The behavior on the sidelines has been dispicable [sic] too often.
It’s too bad, the vast majority of you are wonderful people but I need to depart the land of entitlement where too many of you think that everything has to go your way and you take every comment or email I write as a personal attack on something you hold dear. ...
So, I’m done … and it’s your loss.
That email was followed shortly by another, from Beverly Hills AYSO regional commissioner Alex Grossman. The subject line stated "Unfortunate E-mail today," and it went on to read, in part:
Earlier today Avery Krut sent out an e-mail to all volunteers expressing certain views. While we respect and appreciate all of the years he has given to our Region, the views stated in his e-mail are his personal opinions and do not represent the Beverly Hills Region 76 Board.
"He certainly wanted to go out with a bang," says AYSO national executive director Mike Hoyer. "We’re disappointed that someone has gotten to the point of their frustration that they don’t want to continue. That’s just tough."
Hoyer says he sympathizes with what Krut has gone through but doesn't condone the way the message "was delivered."
Krut had been an AYSO volunteer for about 15 years, first as a parent/coach, then a referee, and then the referee administrator, an unpaid position in which he is tasked with overseeing the other referees. He's seen quite a bit of yelling from the parents — at each other, at their kids, and especially at himself and the other refs.
"I’ve had people say everything to me," Krut says. "As with everything in the Westside of L.A., it’s a sense of entitlement about everything."
The worst behavior, he says, comes out during a program AYSO has called Extra, where more competitive kids play against others from all over the city.
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"They think their kids are all mini-Messis," Krut says of the parents. "Somehow, every bad call or mistake of their coach is going to permanently damage their child."
The final straw, he says, was during an Extra game, when one of his assistant referees showed up for a game wearing a protective boot. A mother on the sidelines said to Krut, "Avery, he’s wearing a boot. If we were the away team, we would file a report."
"Why don’t we wait to see how he does?" Krut responded. "She goes, 'This is Extra!' As if the Extra needs FIFA-qualified referees! This is a game of 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds!"
Krut wonders: "Is it worse now than it has been? Maybe, maybe not. Since 2016, people have said more silly things than ever before. It’s their inner Donald Trump coming out."