Referees put up with a lot. They have one of the most reviled jobs in the world, taking abuse from coaches, players, fans and parents. Referees are subjected to taunts, jeers, even threats. Things were different last week when onlookers at a high school football game saw referees arrested for making some threats of their own.
The folks at St. Paul’s School in Covington, La. probably never thought they’d see referees arrested at Friday night’s game against Mandeville High, but that’s sure what happened. According to WWLTV.com, referees Christopher Gambino and James Radcliffe were arrested on charges of public intimidation in the third quarter, delaying the game for nearly half an hour.
It all happened when the referees were asked to move a group of spectators. The Chain Crew, St. Paul volunteers holding the yard markers, got into a verbal spat with some Mandeville supporters and wanted the referees to intervene. The referees then got into it with the spectators and Covington Police stepped in, saying they’d handle crowd control, the referees just needed to control the game.
According to Covington Police, the lead official then tried to throw an officer out of the game. Apparently referees have less authority than police; the two referees were then arrested. They were later booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail after being arrested.
Sure, some ardent fans have no doubt considered egregious miscalls criminal, but no referees have ever been arrested for it. These two referees won’t be wearing prison stripes anytime soon, as they were released on $250 bond the morning after being arrested.
What do you think of the referees being arrested? Were the police overzealous when they arrested the referees? Have you ever wanted to see referees arrested?