As an athlete, there is a competitive drive in you that allows you to take your game to the next level. Occasionally though, this same drive results in poor judgment and decision making. Whether or not people like it, it’s part of the game and I feel very strongly that sports would be diluted if it wasn’t a factor. Some sports definitely embrace it more than others and I think it is an idea that would be very difficult to just change. Casual fans and non-fans of hockey watch the game for the fighting involved, completely forgetting that there’s a 60 minute chess-match taking place. NASCAR isn’t all that different. How many times do you hear people talk about an amazing pass that took place as a result of getting a good bump coming out of the final corner of a race? I guarantee it pales in comparison to the number of people talking about the wrecks and melee that occurred because a few drivers had very short fuses that day. Regardless of what happens on the field, ice, track and wherever else you want to take this topic, things happen and we move on.
What really fires me up though is when I hear about a soccer referee in Utah fighting for his life after a being punched by a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league. I would be a liar if I said I always agreed with calls that referees made. I’m pretty sure I even lead my hockey league in penalty minutes on more than one occasion. But would I ever go as far as making physical contact with a referee? Not. A. Chance.
Witnesses and detectives of Taylorsville, a Salt Lake City suburb, told the Portillo family that Ricardo was hit by the player in the side of the head after he issued a yellow card. Johana Portillo, Ricardo’s daughter, went on to say, “When he was writing down his notes, he just came out of nowhere and punched him.” Meanwhile, the Portillo family says they are, “hoping for Ricardo’s miraculous recovery and want justice for him.” They deserve so much more than that. I’m sorry, but I hope this little scumbag absolutely gets the justice he deserves. I couldn’t give two shits that the player is a minor, why does our legal system insist on booking him in juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault? Someone’s life is on the line here and the best we’re going to get is, “those charges could be amplified if Portillo dies.” What do you mean could be amplified? I’m not a lawyer, but that’s 2nd Degree Murder if he dies. Even if Mr. Portillo is able to make a miraculous recovery, I whole-heartedly believe this little punk still needs to have his ass sent to the big boys penitentiary and we’ll see how tough he really is.
Godspeed, Ricardo. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Portillo family.
- American soccer referee fighting for life after teen player punches him during recreational game (theprovince.com)
- Utah referee punched by soccer player in coma (foxnews.com)
- Soccer Ref in Coma After Being Punched by Teen (newser.com)
- Soccer ref in coma was assaulted before, says family (cbsnews.com)
- Soccer Ref In Coma After Punched By Teen Previously Attacked By Other Players (lasvegas.cbslocal.com)
- soccer referee in coma from player’s punch (metronews.ca)
- Family: Utah ref in coma had been assaulted before (timesleader.com)
- Utah soccer league hiring security after ref hit (sfgate.com)
- Utah soccer referee in coma from player’s punch (cnsnews.com)