Ex-Congressman Allegedly Flashes Temper After Son's Soccer Game

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A career in Congress never got Chip Pickering near the attention that an altercation after a youth soccer game has.

Pickering and a youth soccer coach got into a tussle that Pickering claims started because the coach mistreated his son after a soccer game in Madison, Mississippi last week. The men had to be pulled apart by spectators, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Both have been charged with simple assault. Lawyers for both said they will try to settle the matter in private before a scheduled January court date, the newspaper reported.

Pickering, a Republican who served 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, earlier released a statement with his version of what happened.

He said that Christopher Hester, the coach in the South Madison County Soccer League team for 10- and 11-year-olds "verbally abused and physically intimidated my son, visibly upsetting my son to the point of uncontrollable crying," according to the statement which was published in the Clarion-Ledger.

The former Congressman told police that when the teams lined up for post-game handshakes, Hester misinterpreted a playful gesture that his son made toward a friend on the team coached by Hester, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Pickering told police that Hester yelled at his son, "You're pathetic. You ought to be ashamed of yourself," the newspaper reports.

After the incident, Pickering approached Hester in his car and asked him not speak to his son "in such a manner again."

"I did not say anything further to him, nor did I ever threaten him," Pickering said in the statement published by the newspaper.

At that point, Hester got out of his car and attacked him, according to Pickering. "I was forced to defend myself by restraining him," he said in the statement.

Hester, who works as a nurse, said he didn't know that Pickering's son was on the opposing team when the former Congressman, who left elective office last year, pulled him from his Nissan Armada, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

"I tried to explain to him, 'Sir, I don't know who you are. I don't know who your son is.' He just blew up," Hester said. "He proceeds to start threatening and yelling at me. It scared the crap out of the kids in my car."

This isn't the first time a politician has been accused of really bad sportsmanship. In 2007, Dan Foley, then the minority whip of the New Mexico House of Representatives was arrested after rushing onto a basketball court and shouting profanities when a fight broke out at his son's basketball tournament game. Foley also allegedly spit chewing tobacco at an officer before he was arrested. Foley disputed the charges and they were later dropped.

Related: Are You a 'Good Sport' at Being a Parent?, College Official Loses Temper, Job Over Complaint About Son's Playing Time


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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.