No doubt that the Hawk audience loves its sports! Especially football. But with the beginning of football season at all levels— high school, college and pros, let’s talk about “respecting the stripes”. Having worked off & on for years as a referee, it’s “officials’ time out”. Sport non-specific, it’s respect for all officiating, in any sport, at any level. With the kickoff of the most watched sport in this country, maybe it’s a good time to remember what the stripes are all about. Fairness. The guys and women that wear them are out there doing their best.
So here’s the thing— with all that said, mistakes happen. Some folks then choose to disrespect the stripes. Blaming everything on “bad calls”. Often evoking the idea that someone is biased, lazy or cheated… “they’re just in it for the money” or such. Calls get missed. Human error remains a real part of any game. And those TV replays are only at the highest levels. The speed of sports makes it difficult to say the least, even with years of experience and training. But sadly already this year we’ve again witnessed players hitting referees and making verbal threats. No matter the sport or league, it’s wrong.
In addition to wearing the stripes, I’ve spent years as a parent, fan and coach for multiple sports. Its tough to accept “the call”. But hopefully someone will now think twice before screaming from the sidelines, confronting them post-game or sadly telling their kid that it was the ref’s fault. Let’s enjoy the games whether you’re in them, watching or have a participant playing. Let’s respect the stripes.
This article was written by Bill Cash