By Jessica BerardinoBy Mike Pintek

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – As summer approaches, more young children begin practicing or playing their favorite sport. But, what if your child came to you and told you they didn’t want to play anymore because they were being encouraged to hurt other players? Or as a spectator you witness parents shouting vulgar obscenities to their child on the field, in hopes for them to perform better.

The local survey entitled, “i9 Sports Youth Safety Survey”, was commissioned by the non-profit group i9 Sports Association to a third party. They are the nation’s first and fastest growing youth sports league franchise. The survey questioned young athletes ages 8 to 14 who had no connection to i9 Sports.

The survey revealed shocking statistics that 50% of the athletes will hide their injury to play, and 16% say they or another team mate has purposefully tried to hurt another player. Then an honest 11% said they have been offered gifts or money to hurt another player.

The President of i9 Sports, Brian Sanders, attached this statement in the press release along with the survey:

“We want the i9 Sports 9 Steps to Safe Play and the i9 Sports Youth Safety Survey to trigger some eye-opening discussions about dangerous behavior on the field to ignite real change. Parents and coaches may be surprised they have as much to learn about sports dangers as the children. We’re the adults here. The burden falls on us to direct the focus of youth sports leagues away from cut-throat winning and back to fun, safe play.”

Steve Bonenberger is part owner of i9 Sports in Pittsburgh. He spoke with Mike Pintek about how tragic this is for our youths.

“Sports shouldn’t be about winning and losing, realistically a very small percentage of young athletes will continue to become a professional,” said Bonenberger.

Finally, 59 percent of these athletes say that they expect to get hurt, and 69 percent of the athletes who were hurt say they continued to play hurt and hid their injuries.

Mike Pintek is live weekdays noon to 3 only on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA!

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE