One is tempted to dismiss the two fathers' behavior, in requesting a gender check on the outstanding member of the Lewisville Blaze soccer team, as an aberrant, though crass, example of machismo insecurity ("Kicking Up a Storm," Nov. 8).
However, I believe the article raises two important issues. Sexist attitudes do have an effect on girls' participation in sports. The exceptional athlete may ignore them, but as Carole Oglesby, department chair of physical education at Temple University, points out, "Barbs may drive away the average performer who will miss the joys and lessons of competition."
Second, I have observed at youth soccer games in the last 10 years children being reduced to tears, not by events on the field, but by their parents berating them for failing to play hard enough.
FIONA D. KELLY