JONES, Okla. – Luther and Jones might be neighboring Oklahoma towns, but their contention on the gridiron is tense – and now controversial after some Jones parents showed up to a fifth grade football game wearing shirts some found offensive.
The founder of Red Dirt Football League, John Elerick, told KFOR there were four parents who wore T-shirts to Saturday's game that read "fluther," suggesting "(expletive) Luther." Both the founder and the coach of the Luther players said it was unacceptable.
Customers at Roosters Cafe in Jones were not happy to see a fellow resident wearing the T-shirt to the game last weekend.
"I think it's very poor, poor taste,” said Jim Selders, a Jones resident.
"A parent like that should be barred from the team. That's the way I look at it because it's for the children. It's not for the parent,” said David Rogers, another Jones resident.
Elerick told KFOR that although he disapproved of the shirts because the people wearing them were spectators there was "no mechanism of controlling them."
"Today is about them, not the coaches, not the referees, and certainly not the parents," Red Dirt Football posted on Facebook. "They learn to behave from us and (the) eyes and ears of our kids (are) always tuned in."
Elerick said the parents allegedly made them in retaliation for words said by the Luther football coach on a group text message calling the Jones team "cheaters."
"I did make some comments, but it wasn't toward them, the way they took it," coach Patrick Molina said. "It was more to fire up my team for a semifinals game is all it was."
Patrick Molina also admitted he shouldn't have said it in the first place.
"I said some inappropriate things I shouldn't have said. I kind of put my foot in my mouth,” Molina said.
The league's founder said he and the coach reprimanded the parents after the game for wearing the shirts.
"This was immature behavior, and I told that to the Jones folks from the very beginning,” Elerick said.