‘They Will Have To Move Or Live In Fear’ | Indiana Father Accused Of Shooting Son’s Youth Football Coach

(Photo: Fox59/Getty Images)

The delusional and nonsensical obsession that some parents have with youth sports reared its ugly head again as a 43-year-old Indiana father is accused of shooting his son’s football coach.

Cameron Parks was arrested by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on Saturday, Dec. 4, nearly two weeks after he was accused of shooting the 36-year-old victim in a northeast Indianapolis neighborhood, IMPD said in a news release shared to Facebook.

Parks allegedly forced another man at gunpoint to knock on the door to the coach’s home and opened fire when he answered, WISH reported. Parks allegedly shot the coach at around 2 a.m. Fortunately the coach didn’t sustain any life-threatening injuries, but he is undoubtedly traumatized for life.

Investigators haven’t given a definite motive, but if this shooting is the product of a dispute about youth football then the coach probably will be reconsidering his future plans.

Is It That Serious? 

According to reports, investigators learned that Parks “previously had a disturbance” with his son’s coach, a release said. WXIN reported that the encounter occurred at a youth travel football game in Tennessee where Parks’ son suffered a leg injury.

Parks threatened the coach and his girlfriend while at the hospital, telling them “they would have to move or would live in fear,” a witness told police.

Sounds like a twisted, made-for-TV story about the dangers of youth football beyond the gridiron. This case shouldn’t be hard to litigate if those direct threats toward the coach can be corroborated by witness testimony.

Play My Son Or Else

Reports say, “Court documents also detail an apparent campaign of harassment leading up to the shooting, with Parks calling the coach on his phone and leaving intimidating messages,” WXIN reported. Parks has been charged with aggravated battery, kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, battery by means of a deadly weapon, intimidation and pointing a firearm,” IMPD said.

There’s much to unravel here, but it’s clear that Cameron Parks took his football and the well-being of his son on the field very seriously. Trying to kill his coach was probably not the best way to express it.

Home Arrest Ordered For Shooter 

Parks reportedly was ordered to home detention and GPS monitoring by a Marion County judge three days after he was arrested on charges of shooting the football coach. According to Fox59, court records show that an $80K bond was posted.

When Youth Sports Goes Wrong 

This incident reminds us of a bizarre violent encounter between a high school hoops coach who wasn’t having it and a disgruntled parent back in 2019.

Christopher Hooks, the father of a Paul Robeson High School basketball player from Brooklyn got so enraged about his son’s lack of court time that he went to coach Todd Myles’ home to confront him.

The hasty decision ended in bullets with both men suffering gun wounds. Inititally, the coach said there was a third person involved who did the shooting.

After the investigation was completed and Hooks was healed enough to give a statement, it was discovered that the coach lied to the police about a third-party triggerman. Myles had actually shot the parent. He was subsequently arrested, which effectively ended his coaching career.

Parents and coaches continue to react violently, treating youth sports like a professional league with huge money at stake. These incidents have become all too frequent along with the delusions of grandeur that parents have about their children’s talents and potential as players. These kinds of attitudes have also stunted the growth of a lot of young athletes who can handle a lot more adversity and growth than their parents allow them to experience.


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JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.