Councilman Brandon Scott: Political pressure is keeping too many youth sports coaches from being properly trained

Too many Baltimore youth coaches use political connections to avoid proper training that could keep more kids active in sports, Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott said. 

Speaking at the Project Play: Baltimore Huddle in June 2017, Scott called for unifying language in Baltimore that stipulates training and background checks as requirements to be a youth sports coach – whether at a city school or recreation program. Scott recently announced he is running for Maryland lieutenant governor alongside Jim Shea in the Democratic primary for governor.

“You have a lot of people who are not trained, and to be honest, don’t want to be trained,” Scott said of coaches in Baltimore. “They’re doing this simply because … they’re trying to relive their lives of what could have been through these young people. I think what’s happening is they’re hurting a lot of our young people. They’re running them away from sports.”

Scott said too many Baltimore coaches stick with old coaching habits because they are popular in the community and have political support protecting them. Standardizing coaching training would “make a lot of people mad,” Scott said. “It’s my belief that hasn’t happened because a lot of these folks are connected to people like me, right? I don’t care about personal feelings (of coaches) when it comes to young people.”

Project Play: Baltimore is a multiyear initiative designed to help city stakeholders grow the quality and quantity of sport options available to local youth. It is the first model community initiative organized by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program.

Watch the video below to hear more of Scott’s remarks from the Huddle discussion.

Project Play: Baltimore is a multiyear initiative designed to help city stakeholders grow the quantity and quality of sport options available to local youth. It is the first model community initiative organized by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program. Supported by Under Armour, it is a bold experiment designed to serve and inspire Baltimore’s communities.