Being a youth sports official has to be one of the most painful existences a person can be pained with. This is mainly because dealing with overzealous and angry parents has to be a troubling experience, which would then have to be repeated over and over again. And they’re not exactly getting paid big bucks to do this if they’re getting paid at all.
However, in spite of these officials not precisely being Lamont Simpson or Ed Hochuli, punching them in the face is not something we’d recommend if you disagree with their calls, as a Missouri man did.
Fans disagreed with a high school referee’s calls. Then one punched him in the face: "In the Suburban Conferences, which includes both Raytown and Raytown South, referees are paid $60 per game for junior-varsity games." https://t.co/K5H5H0BheP
— Toriano Porter (@torianoporter) January 9, 2018
According to a police report obtained by the Kansas City Star, 33-year-old referee Dallas Bryant was punched from behind by Dwan Lamont Marshall Jr., who was not happy with some calls that went against his younger sister, who he was watching play. This stemmed from a verbal confrontation before that point, which allegedly included Bryant saying to Marshall Jr., “I bet you won’t be discussing no elbow call in the parking lot,” said Marshall Sr., who was also at the game.
Bryant was taken to a hospital for treatment, and the game was immediately stopped, while Marshall Jr. was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct.
“I regret punching the ref in the face,” Marshall Jr. told a witness at the scene. “It was an emotional response. I shouldn’t have done it. I’m sorry.”
There’s a valuable lesson to be learned here: referees are human too, and they misunderstand the rules just as much as we do. That does not mean physically assaulting them when calls don’t go the way you want them to, on any level.