Respect for sports arbitrators are typically structured into the game itself. In baseball, for instance, respect for the umpire is built upon a tacit understanding; a player unhappy with a strike call can grumble all he wants, but the minute he turns around to confront and disgrace the ump, there’s gonna be T-R-O-U-B-L-E. In basketball, technical fouls can take a person out of the game, screwing up everything for the remaining lineup.
Still, I’ve always worried about the safety of sports refs–who at all times are making unpopular decisions in somebody‘s viewpoint–which is why I’m so glad that in American football, the refs (like my favorite python master, Ed Hochuli, pictured below) tend to be as burly as the players themselves.
Perhaps my conditioning to relatively good behavior in the company of referees explains the shock I felt eyeballing this CNN video– a clip of Tianjin football players pursuing and basically attacking a ref after a match in Beijing.
Thank bejeezus the man in blue had some legs on him–but the players in the vid could really stand to learn a lesson about sportsmanlike conduct. Sore losing is just shameful. Hell, I know Asians love to win, but shit–don’t we also care in excess about honor and pride?
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