A woman wore a T-shirt saying "Mother of the Year" to a children's softball game in Laurel, Mississippi, on Saturday night—but her behavior at the game raises some serious concerns about the judging process. Kiara Thomas, mother of one of the 12-year-old players, was arrested and charged with simple assault after allegedly punching umpire Kristie Moore, WLBT reports. Moore, who was left with a black eye, says Thomas was swearing so much during the game that she was asked to leave, but Thomas waited and confronted her after the games instead of going home.
Moore, who has been umpiring USFA games for 10 years, says she was filling in Saturday for another umpire who was out sick. She says that parents' behavior at games has been getting worse and that people should not be surprised if there ends up being a shortage of umpires, who are paid $40 a game at most. "It's ridiculous,” she says. “The verbal abuse. And even now, the physical abuse now, at this point, and enough is enough." In a Facebook post, she said, "When the day comes that your kid can’t play a ballgame because there are no longer officials to call it ...THIS.IS.WHY," per Syracuse.com. Thomas is expected to face a fine and a ban from every recreational appearance in Laurel. (Read more umpires stories.)