Ruffle My Feathers, a weekly sports blog by Justin Lewis
Stern Cold Fools
David Stern and his band of referees (aka Flunkies) for lack of a better word, suck! There’s no need to mince words here. This year (in the NBA) has been THE worst bit of refereeing I have ever seen within Pro sports. Players are not aloud to show any emotion during the game nor are they allowed “look” at the referee(s) in a certain way. What is this, High School? Only the popular kids (Execs & League Officials) get the perks? Funny thing is the refs are allowed to display all kinds of emotion and put their “feelings” into the equation but the players and coaches must stay reserved. Their job is to ensure the safety of the players and that there is fair play throughout the contest, THAT’S IT! No one came to see you jog back and forth in your orthopedics.
One referee in particular is wreaking havoc on the players this year. He has called technical fouls on players who only said, “That’s a bad call ref.” and “Come on Man.” Are you kidding me? So its okay for the ref to say whatever they want and blow a call even WITH the assistance of instant replay (where they look over the play like 25 times), but the players are fined and thrown out of games for TALKING to the referees? I’m so glad equality isn’t lost on these athletes and coaches. No, its not lost at all is it? (Insert Sarcasm HERE) Well I don’t know about you, but it helps me feel at ease knowing someone OTHER than the coaches and players has the “power” to determine the outcome of the game. Stern’s buddies also tried to have a fan ejected (removed) from the game because he was “too close to the sideline”. How about the fact that ALL of the seats on the floor are “too close to the sideline”? At away games opposing coaches are sitting less than 5-10 feet away from Matt Damon, DJ Khaled, Jack Nicholson, and/or Music Producer/Artist Timbaland. Give them a break!
No other sport has more restrictions on their players and provides more rights for their referees (to be horrible) than the NBA and its Commissioner David Stern. Baseball players/Managers are allowed to cuss the umpire to high heaven (AFTER they are ejected from the game) for at least 1-2 minutes and hockey players are ALLOWED to fight it out when there is an issue on the ice; and I haven’t seen many hockey coaches get thrown out of games except for the few times they threw a chair ON THE ICE. Basketball players and coaches are fined $25,000 for “menacing gestures”. Last time I checked a gesture is a form of NON-Verbal communication (Not physically touching anyone). So now I guess players/coaches must avert their eyes if/when they have an issue, problem or concern with the refs. These refs think they are above being questioned and Stern is the ring leader. Something’s gotta be done about this.
Why aren’t referees held accountable for their decisions? They should not determine the outcome of the game and if they impact the game in a negative fashion they should be fined according to the severity of their mistakes. These kinds of rules & regulations are essential to sports such as basketball because they have instant replay and if a play occurs and no one saw what happened (how that happens I don’t know because there are (3) referees and each takes an angle/spot on the court so they can all be on one accord if/when they “miss what happened”) they then huddle for a few minutes. My thing is either you saw what happened or you didn’t. By huddling for those few minutes they are bringing unnecessary speculation and skepticism into the picture, thus destroying the little confidence players, coaches, and fans had in them in the first place.
- David Stern and the uptight zebras need to bring some more equality into the game because the fines they enforce (In the amounts of $10,000; $25,000; sometimes $50,000) is a crazy amount of money to fine someone because they made a comment about the referee’s “performance”. Are they saying it’s harder to be a referee (who runs up and down the court blowing a whistle) or a player (who has to walk on egg shells while still being physical and executing their game plan against the best athletes in the world)? Lets be serious if I curse about or at the referee I deserve to be fined, but if I say “we played against two teams out there this evening and those aren’t favorable odds”; and subsequently I get fined, well that’s just ridiculous! We are talking about athletes who must uphold an image (where they are forced into being role models), perform at an extremely high level against great competition, and participate in numerous charity opportunities just because they are “rich/privileged athletes”. That’s a lot of pressure for someone to bear; and to have their performance undermined by some tight pants wearing whistle blower (who they’re not “allowed” to speak to in a certain way) determine the outcome of their future, is extremely unfair! I say keep your rules where the sun don’t shine! If I work hard to achieve my dream and you “feel” a certain way about me and make DUMB calls, you better believe I will have something to say.
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