A high school football coach's advice to one of his varsity players has divided the internet after he encouraged the teen to quit the team.
According to a Friday Newsweek report, the coach in question is Kurt Hines, head football coach at Coronado High School in Coronado, California.
What are the details?
Hines shared a clip on social media Thursday explaining what he told a young football player who came to see him with intentions of quitting the team.
"I just had a young man come in and quit," a smiling Hines said in the beginning of his video. "I truly could not be happier."
He continued, "This young man was struggling all season with making it to practice, with committing. Never looked happy; some stuff going on. But I couldn't be happier because he came in, things washed, shook my hand, I said, 'Sit down for a minute.' He started to explain how his family has always been a football family. 'They've always loved it, my father, my brother.' I stopped him, I said, 'Do you love it?'"
Hines said that the unnamed student, clearly relieved to be honest with the coach, heaved a great sigh of relief and responded in the negative.
"I said 'I'm proud of you,'" Hines recalled. "I just saw his whole countenance change. He just smiled from ear to ear. I said, 'You're doing the right thing.'"
He continued, "Football is not for everyone. I couldn't be happier. Coaches, support your players if they want to be great. And if they want to be great in something other than football, support them just the same."
Hines' video has since gone viral and amassed more than 1.6 million views at the time of this reporting.
What has been the response?
Social media users lit up Hines' post, and at the time of this reporting, the video has more than 900 remarks.
For every negative comment saying that Hines ought to have encouraged the teen to finish the season before quitting, there were an equal number of comments supporting the coach's decision to support the teen in leaving behind something that was not in his heart.
According to the report, one fellow high school football coach from Ohio wrote, "What did he do in its place? If he is doing nothing then being part of a team, learning work ethic and learning life lessons is more than just quitting. The easiest thing to do is quit. I believe that being part of something even if the love is not there is better."
Newsweek also quoted a former football player, who added, "I quit 2 times, 1st before Sr yr of high school but a great coach talked me back, it was best move of my life. 2nd during 2 a days Jr. yr of college, I've regretted it ALL my life! Quitting's easy — keeping on is hard! Bad lesson to teach. I strongly disagree with your position."
The outlet added that one particularly turned-off commenter responded, "Sir, I am a youth football coaching legend, and when my kids quit my team, I tell them their life will be all downhill moving forward and that I hope to never see them again."
Another wrote, "When I was a sophomore in high school, I walked into my basketball coach's office and told him I quit. He basically told me no chance. It was a long road, but I ended up playing at university of Hawaii after high school. Then played 7 years pro overseas. I grew to love the game."
Other users pointed out that they believed his support of the student was constructive and positive.
Newsweek reported that one user wrote, "Awesome job coach! Thank you for being accepting of the young man's decision and supporting him. I know it was hard for him to do that. To everyone saying 'He shouldn't quit' or 'Should've made him finish them he could quit' what the hell is wrong with y'all?"
"The whole 'always finish what you started, never quit' mentality is why we have so many people stuck in jobs and relationships that make them miserable," another user tweeted. "In turn, they end up making others around them miserable as well. Know yourself. Trust your gut and do what you believe in."
Another chimed in, "Great Coaching! The best coaches and mentors support people in figuring out what they want & don't want to chase with their time and energy. And I bet you're the kind of guy who'd also help him find his next coach or mentor when he wants one. You Rock!"
"Lotta negativity in this thread but I'm supporting this 110%," one user wrote. "It's not 'quitter' mentality. It's finding yourself. Watch this kid he's talkin' about do something extraordinary. Can the internet give a round of applause for anything?"