NBC Washington’s Jim Vance: Participation trophies equal ‘child abuse’

By Jesse Reed

Everybody and their mother has espoused their opinions regarding James Harrison returning his sons’ participation trophies, but NBC Washington anchor Jim Vance wins the hot-take award on this topic.

During Monday evening’s newscast, Vance got into a debate with sports anchor Jason Pugh of the same network after Pugh’s report on the matter. Pugh pointed out Harrison’s two sons are just six and eight years old, respectively, which led to Vance’s white-hot take:

“It’s child abuse to give a kid a trophy that he has not earned. If a parent’s responsibility is to teach a kid how to deal with the real world, then that is child abuse. Because that’s not the real world.”

Pugh tried to bring reason to the conversation, noting he turned out just fine after having received participation trophies himself as a child. But he was bullied by Vance and co-anchor Wendy Reiger, who said  “He doesn’t want them to feel entitled, like everyone owes them something.”

Based on the comments sections in the various news stories regarding Harrison’s Instagram post, it seems clear the majority of sports fans interested in this topic do agree with the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker. Most people believe kids need to be taught the value of earning what you receive, rather than being praised for showing up and participating.

However, to say that giving children trophies for participating equates to child abuse is taking things a bit too far, and it demeans those who have actually been abused. Let’s just hope the hot takes can simmer down a bit going forward as folks continue debating this firebrand topic.