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ESPN reporting on wrestling referee incident

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4 hours ago, ironmonkey said:

 

This seems to be a far more clear issue than you are making it out to be.  There is a rule in place.  The rule wasn't followed either willfully or accidently.  The athlete was given time to be in compliance or forfeit so the rule was enforced objectively.  The athlete chose to deal with the problem the best he could in the moment and chose to have his hair cut.  

 

Nobody could forsee this turning into what it did.  The athlete wasn't put on display or purposely shamed.  The trainer wasn't taking delight in attacking the young mans identity.  This is all coming from people who have never wrestled being outraged over a clip they didn't understand. That outrage ends when they log off the internet.  If they log off the internet.   

 

Are you suggesting we cater to the mad herd that is twitter in deciding when to follow rules and when not to? Not just in wrestling but in life?  Is Twitter really our first concern?  

It's easy to say all this when it's someone else's life. Like I said, this man will never ref again even if he wins the case. He will be branded a social pariah. I'm not saying I like it, I'm pointing out how the world works now. He may also lose his day job. You don't think there are people out there gunning for his day job as well? If you were his employer and there were masses of the public saying hes a racist and if you employ him you're as racist as well would you continue to employ and deal with the PR nightmare that could cripple and destroy your business?

Do you think the mainstream media cares 1 bit about what the wrestling community thinks? Furthermore the sports biggest star Jordan Burroughs has come out with total support of Johnson and admonishing the refs actions. JB even said that in all his years in the sport hes never seen anyone have to cut their hair. I've had it happen to me and have seen it happen many times in my 30 years involved in this sport. Whether we like it or not the twitterverse is a whole lot more powerful than our little wrestling community who quite frankly are mostly on the side of the kid as well.

You can say no one could have known this would happen, but again the real world doesnt care about that. We live in a total gotcha society that is ruthless and could care less about destroying your life.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if people learn what the actual rules are.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if people learn that the rules were clearly explained to all the coaches and ads at the annual rules interpretation meeting.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if they learn that the kid was given a freebie the previous week at a tournament where the refs let him slide and told him to be prepared with the right equipment next time.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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10 hours ago, BigTenFanboy said:

It doesnt matter if the public has no understanding of wrestling rules. In today's world you have to watch what you do and say. To navigate this world today you have to know when to and not to follow certain rules especially when working with kids. I can bet you the ref right now wishes he had just let the kid use the hair cover he had.

Have you ever had someone bend a rule for you?

I’m fine with bending rules in certain situations.  I probably would have if I were the ref in this situation. Or like you said if someone is going 5mph over the speed limit. However I don’t think there should be public outrage if the officer or the official decides to enforce the rule exactly as it’s written. That is my main point here. One of the best refs in my area (reffed NCAA finals) is a stickler for all the little rules like that. It gets annoying but we all respect him because he is doing his job and he does it for everyone. 

The race part is where this gets sticky... if the ref would have let a white kid slide but decides to call out a black due to racial prejudice then he is obviously wrong. I’ll admit that this very well may be the case in this situation. However, we don’t know that for sure. So if the ref is a stickler for everyone there is nothing wrong here. Either way the media will certainly promote the story if there is even a chance there was racism involved. Let’s be honest this would not be a story if the kid was white. Please note I am not in any way condoning racism... I’m not sure what the ref’s past included but if he had any hint of racism in his past, he should have been fired a long time ago

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3 minutes ago, Eagle26 said:

I’m fine with bending rules in certain situations.  I probably would have if I were the ref in this situation. Or like you said if someone is going 5mph over the speed limit. However I don’t think there should be public outrage if the officer or the official decides to enforce the rule exactly as it’s written. That is my main point here. One of the best refs in my area (reffed NCAA finals) is a stickler for all the little rules like that. It gets annoying but we all respect him because he is doing his job and he does it for everyone. 

The race part is where this gets sticky... if the ref would have let a white kid slide but decides to call out a black due to racial prejudice then he is obviously wrong. I’ll admit that this very well may be the case in this situation. However, we don’t know that for sure. So if the ref is a stickler for everyone there is nothing wrong here. Either way the media will certainly promote the story if there is even a chance there was racism involved. Let’s be honest this would not be a story if the kid was white. Please note I am not in any way condoning racism... I’m not sure what the ref’s past included but if he had any hint of racism in his past, he should have been fired a long time ago

I agree with you 100% and it's for the very reasons you lay out that in today's society you pretty much have to be OVERTLY NOT RACIST to avoid being labeled a racist. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying that how the world works now!

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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1 minute ago, BigTenFanboy said:

I agree with you 100% and it's for the very reasons you lay out that in today's society you pretty much have to be OVERTLY NOT RACIST. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying that how the world works now!

That is definitely true. It does have consequences though. As I mentioned before, it would be awful if the ref only calls out black wrestlers but lets white wrestlers have a free pass. However, I think it is just as unfortunate if a ref would let a black kid slide on rule and not a white kid because he is afraid of being accused of racism

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12 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

It's easy to say all this when it's someone else's life. Like I said, this man will never ref again even if he wins the case. He will be branded a social pariah. I'm not saying I like it, I'm pointing out how the world works now. He may also lose his day job. You don't think there are people out there gunning for his day job as well? If you were his employer and there were masses of the public saying hes a racist and if you employ him you're as racist as well would you continue to employ and deal with the PR nightmare that could cripple and destroy your business?

Do you think the mainstream media cares 1 bit about what the wrestling community thinks? Furthermore the sports biggest star Jordan Burroughs has come out with total support of Johnson and admonishing the refs actions. JB even said that in all his years in the sport hes never seen anyone have to cut their hair. I've had it happen to me and have seen it happen many times in my 30 years involved in this sport. Whether we like it or not the twitterverse is a whole lot more powerful than our little wrestling community who quite frankly are mostly on the side of the kid as well.

You can say no one could have known this would happen, but again the real world doesnt care about that. We live in a total gotcha society that is ruthless and could care less about destroying your life.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if people learn what the actual rules are.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if people learn that the rules were clearly explained to all the coaches and ads at the annual rules interpretation meeting.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if they learn that the kid was given a freebie the previous week at a tournament where the refs let him slide and told him to be prepared with the right equipment next time.

Love JB, but I’m a little shocked he made that statement about never seeing a pre-match/tournament haircut done before.  Seems many here have.  He could have left that part out and still posted against the ref.

But I bet if JB had stated the ref applied the rule correctly, that could have calmed it down a bit (although I’m sure he’d then get hate saying he was complicit in racism or something).

I think the most reasonable conclusion here is that the ref probably shouldn’t have been in this position (probably should have been done after the 2016 incident).  However his call was correct here.  As far as individual people to blame, I’m leaning towards the coach at #1.   They were apparently warned both before the season as well as at their previous competition (which I believe was their first of the season), but were still unprepared.  

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

Love JB, but I’m a little shocked he made that statement about never seeing a pre-match/tournament haircut done before.  Seems many here have.  He could have left that part out and still posted against the ref.

But I bet if JB had stated the ref applied the rule correctly, that could have calmed it down a bit (although I’m sure he’d then get hate saying he was complicit in racism or something).

I think the most reasonable conclusion here is that the ref probably shouldn’t have been in this position (probably should have been done after the 2016 incident).  However his call was correct here.  As far as individual people to blame, I’m leaning towards the coach at #1.   They were apparently warned both before the season as well as at their previous competition (which I believe was their first of the season), but were still unprepared.  

 

 

 

 

JB probably read the whole article including the part that the ref was punished for use of racist language in the not distant past.  Because of that JB was probably more concerned for the young man than for calming things down on behalf of a known racist ref.  

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6 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

Love JB, but I’m a little shocked he made that statement about never seeing a pre-match/tournament haircut done before.  Seems many here have.  He could have left that part out and still posted against the ref.

But I bet if JB had stated the ref applied the rule correctly, that could have calmed it down a bit (although I’m sure he’d then get hate saying he was complicit in racism or something).

I think the most reasonable conclusion here is that the ref probably shouldn’t have been in this position (probably should have been done after the 2016 incident).  However his call was correct here.  As far as individual people to blame, I’m leaning towards the coach at #1.   They were apparently warned both before the season as well as at their previous competition (which I believe was their first of the season), but were still unprepared.  

 

 

 

 

The point will NEVER be that the rule was applied correctly. It's been put other there that the rule was correctly applied and NO ONE cares. People directly respond to that saying what kind of rule is that. You have to understand you're dealing with people who couldnt give a rat's you know what about wrestling rules. They bring up examples of racist rules/laws from the past live slavery and Jim Crow laws. We live in a very tricky time and no one cares about the rules. They only care that a white male referee who has made a racial slur in the past made a black kid cut his dreadlocks and NOTHING is going to change that. Any celebrity or person with stature that comes to this refs aide even if its proven that he was in the "right" will be demonised as well. The world we live in today.

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17 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

The point will NEVER be that the rule was applied correctly. It's been put other there that the rule was correctly applied and NO ONE cares. People directly respond to that saying what kind of rule is that. You have to understand you're dealing with people who couldnt give a rat's you know what about wrestling rules. They bring up examples of racist rules/laws from the past live slavery and Jim Crow laws. We live in a very tricky time and no one cares about the rules. They only care that a white male referee who has made a racial slur in the past made a black kid cut his dreadlocks and NOTHING is going to change that. Any celebrity or person with stature that comes to this refs aide even if its proven that he was in the "right" will be demonised as well. The world we live in today.

I would estimate that most of the people all riled up don’t know that the rule was applied correctly.   Maybe they wouldn’t really care if they did know, but still pretty confident most don’t.   I think if the coach made a statement saying it was his fault or something that might help.   The internet (well some of it at least) has changed its mind before.

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3 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

I would estimate that most of the people all riled up don’t know that the rule was applied correctly.   Maybe they wouldn’t really care if they did know, but still pretty confident most don’t.   I think if the coach made a statement saying it was his fault or something that might help.   The internet (well some of it at least) has changed its mind before.

I agree with you that most of the people riled up dont know this as well. Read through the Twitter posts and I've read through literally hundreds. The people who have been told directly that the rules were applied correctly respond with other defensive comments saying that the ref was still wrong saying that the rules dont matter..

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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Twitter warriors also forget things pretty quickly.

Same area, higher profile, here is an example of a guy who got accused of being a racist, got blasted on Twitter, apologized, and kept his job.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/fb-6301493/I-EXPECT-RACIST-ERIC-REID-BLASTS-PHILLY-SPORTS-WRITERS-CARTOON.html

The ref here did apologize for the past incident.  But he doesn’t need to apologize for this one, unless he’s apologizing for the rules that he’s paid to enforce.  

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9 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

I agree with you that most of the people riled up dont know this as well. Read through the Twitter posts and I've read through literally hundreds. The people who have been told directly that the rules were applied correctly respond with other defensive comments saying that the ref was still wrong saying that the rules dont matter..

I’ve only read a few.  Can you share?

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I can see where the ref didnt need to make this happen, but I also get there is a rule. Maybe its time to reevalute the rule. I'm just so sick of everything getting turned into outrage porn. Right or wrong, the victim stance, virtue signaling, bs that goes on in Twitterverse is sure getting old.

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12 minutes ago, russelscout said:

I can see where the ref didnt need to make this happen, but I also get there is a rule. Maybe its time to reevalute the rule. I'm just so sick of everything getting turned into outrage porn. Right or wrong, the victim stance, virtue signaling, bs that goes on in Twitterverse is sure getting old.

The world we live in..

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40 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

I’ve only read a few.  Can you share?

Google search "Twitter wrestler haircut"

I dont have a Twitter account and cant get my tablet to create a link. There are many people repeatedly explaining the rule and how this hair cover was not legal. The responses do not care one bit. On in particular that I read where the person asks a series of questions regarding the rules. He gets direct answers for all of them explaining the rules and how the coach and kid were told at the previous competition that next time they need to get the legal equipment. The response from that individual was thanks, the ref handled this situation very poorly.  Also the NJ Governor made a statement regarding this matter. Guess which side he is on?  What do you think would happen to him and his political career if he came out and acknowledged that the ref correctly enforced the rules? Do you think the NJSIAA will go against the word of the governor?

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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11 minutes ago, BigTenFanboy said:

The world we live in..

You have to think it is heading somewhere though. This kind of approach to problems is not productive. If it was, racsism wouldnt be a thing anymore. I look at Jordan Burroighs comment and I am torn between thinking thats great he came out and said that against he just said that to remind everyone not to forget about him since it is a wrestling issue. It would be nice if we could turn all the bickering, all the virtue signaling, and have just honest discussions.

Edited by russelscout

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5 minutes ago, russelscout said:

You have to think it is heading somewhere though. This kind of approach to problems is not productive. If it was, racsism wouldnt be a thing anymore. I look at Jordan Burroighs comment and I am torn between thinking thats great he came out and said that against he just said that to remind everyone not to forget about him since it is a wrestling issue. It would be nice if we could turn all the bickering, all the virtue signaling, and have just honest discussions.

I agree and it's not headed in a good place. The world doesnt want honest discussion. It wants to prove that everyone with a differing opinion is wrong. And it's not just in America where we have the most diverse society in the world. Other countries with very homogeneous societies are just as bad.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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What's funny is you guys talking about how bad the world has gotten because people are angry about a guy with a racist history who made a black kid cut his hair matside.  Back before the world got terrible the haircut would have been ignored and the guy's racist past wouldn't have been included in any story about the haircut.  Now his issues with alcohol and racism get found almost instantly and people get really angry about it.  That anger and the way it is expressed in a social media mob is the opposite of productive.  It is choir preaching and back patting from an angry mob who wants to congratulate itself for it's righteous indignation.  It's a mob that doesn't care one bit for the facts or the rules.  It's a mob that certainly doesn't care about wrestling.  But as awful as that mob is, it's better than old racist refs.  

You guys keep quoting anecdotes about matside haircuts and you are amazed that Jordan Burroughs hasn't seen them in all his years.  I'm even more amazed that you haven't seen refs who call matches entirely different for black wrestlers.  I coached at a school where many of my wrestlers were black and there is no doubt those kids were officiated differently by a not insignificant number of refs.  My guess is while JB was missing all the matside haircuts, he was experiencing and witnessing plenty of those refs using their evening side job as a means to stick it to young black kids.  It's probably why he chose that part of the story to comment on.  

So while I agree social media mob justice is pathetic and I've never had a twitter account or anything like it, I won't shed a tear for the ref whose racism came home to roost, and I won't pine for the world where we ignored that kind of thing.  

Edited by boconnell

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The rule is an attached head piece.  This isn't a new rule.  It changed years ago.  Every coach should know this and so should wrestlers.  He obviously knee he had to have a hair cover. I highly doubt he didn't know it was no the correct one.  It is also over a month into season.  There has been plenty of time for it to be corrected with the appropriate head piece. 

Could he have let him wrestle? Yes. Should he have? That varied individually.  Here is the thing the ref did not make him cut his hair.  It was a choice.  

The fact that it was matside adds other things.  First you have to report to the table ready to wrestle.  If not it is automatically 1 penalty before the match even starts if that hasn't changed. You also start your 90 seconds injury time.  Meaning he should only get 90 seconds to decide, cut, and get on get to the mat.  Not time for a beat haircut.  

I had a kid one time ask the ref for injury time because he thought he was gonna crap himself.  He made it back in 95 seconds.  Match was over.  I just shook my head.  

 

If the ref is racist he needs to be out if the sport.  On this though rules were applied and with it being 2 months into season and a month into competition the kid had to know.  He tried to push the envelope and it didn't work.  The level if outrage is ludicrous. I agree, change the rule back, but that is the rule right now.  Personally,. I think it's stupid to have to tape or tuck laces 

 

 

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I must be older than a lot of you guys - but back in the late 70's when I was wrestling, a lot of guys wore their hair long - and I saw a lot of impromptu haircuts given at weigh ins.  It was no big deal back then, we'd laugh about it.
It happened to me at Regionals during my senior year.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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4 hours ago, BigTenFanboy said:

Do you think the mainstream media cares 1 bit about what the wrestling community thinks? Furthermore the sports biggest star Jordan Burroughs has come out with total support of Johnson and admonishing the refs actions. JB even said that in all his years in the sport hes never seen anyone have to cut their hair. I've had it happen to me and have seen it happen many times in my 30 years involved in this sport. Whether we like it or not the twitterverse is a whole lot more powerful than our little wrestling community who quite frankly are mostly on the side of the kid as well.

You can say no one could have known this would happen, but again the real world doesnt care about that. We live in a total gotcha society that is ruthless and could care less about destroying your life.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if people learn what the actual rules are.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if people learn that the rules were clearly explained to all the coaches and ads at the annual rules interpretation meeting.

No one is going to change their mind about this ref even if they learn that the kid was given a freebie the previous week at a tournament where the refs let him slide and told him to be prepared with the right equipment next time.

 

I'm not defending the ref.  If what he was accused of earlier is true, he should have been removed from the position which I said in my initial post.  Not only to punish him, but to prevent a situation like this where his judgement would be questioned.  

I am loathing the justice by mob rule without facts.  The head official in the state already stated the rule was applied correctly.  The rule is question is documented.   You are right that the mob doesn't care about the rule but that stinks.  Not for the refs sake if he is a known racist, but because it shows the truth doesn't matter.  Anyone can step in a landmine and be tarred and feathered via social media.  Look at the poor trainer for instance who neither made the rule nor enforced it.  She was simply assisting the wrestler who wanted to compete and now she is being attacked and accused of racism. I don't think this kind of thing is good for anyone even if it is the reality we currently live in.  When governors are weighing in after reacting emotionally to edited clips and false narratives without investigating the rules or circumstances of the clips, isn't that scary?   

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6 hours ago, BigTenFanboy said:

Google search "Twitter wrestler haircut"

I dont have a Twitter account and cant get my tablet to create a link. There are many people repeatedly explaining the rule and how this hair cover was not legal. The responses do not care one bit. On in particular that I read where the person asks a series of questions regarding the rules. He gets direct answers for all of them explaining the rules and how the coach and kid were told at the previous competition that next time they need to get the legal equipment. The response from that individual was thanks, the ref handled this situation very poorly.  Also the NJ Governor made a statement regarding this matter. Guess which side he is on?  What do you think would happen to him and his political career if he came out and acknowledged that the ref correctly enforced the rules? Do you think the NJSIAA will go against the word of the governor?

Governor Murphy’s Twitter actually had a lot of people stating the rule was applied correctly and more criticism of Murphy than Maloney from a quick perusal.  But I guess they’re all “racist Republicans.”

On JB’s twitter, there were a few of the “don’t care” crowd, but the majority of the criticism that I see is from people who (after being told about the rule) still claim that his cover was legal.  One guy even posted a picture of the rulebook and said “see, you only need to attach the cap you have to your headgear!”

As I said in my original post, what’s not known is what happened at weigh ins/skin check.  For JB to blast the ref about that aspect without knowing what happened there doesn’t seem right.  How do we know he didn’t warn Johnson then that he needed to have the proper hair cover when he came to the mat to wrestle?  Maybe he did and was trying to be lenient? I used to ref but haven’t in a few years and once told a kid/coach at skinchecks with the biggest ringworm I’ve ever seen and no note that I’m sorry, he couldn’t wrestle (with no significant pushback at the time).  Coach still tried to send him out anyway so we had to make a scene in the middle of the dual.

There do seem to be some “higher profile” wrestlers posting that the rule was correct without getting a ton of hate - I noticed Jake Herbert and Alec Pantaleo for example.

If one apparently needs to be African American to have an accurate opinion on this, I believe Mr. Roberts, the 20-year officiating veteran quoted in the article who was at one time the president of the area officials association, is a member of the area wrestling Hall of Fame, an almumnus of Mr. Johnson’s school and also reffed D1 FCS football, is.  I also saw another post from a former NJ state champ (that I believe is African American) that knows the ref well and was not his biggest fan, stating that he didn’t believe he was racist, just ignorant and didn’t blame him for enforcing the rule, but did say that the rule itself was racist.

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6 hours ago, boconnell said:

What's funny is you guys talking about how bad the world has gotten because people are angry about a guy with a racist history who made a black kid cut his hair matside.  Back before the world got terrible the haircut would have been ignored and the guy's racist past wouldn't have been included in any story about the haircut.  Now his issues with alcohol and racism get found almost instantly and people get really angry about it.  That anger and the way it is expressed in a social media mob is the opposite of productive.  It is choir preaching and back patting from an angry mob who wants to congratulate itself for it's righteous indignation.  It's a mob that doesn't care one bit for the facts or the rules.  It's a mob that certainly doesn't care about wrestling.  But as awful as that mob is, it's better than old racist refs.  

You guys keep quoting anecdotes about matside haircuts and you are amazed that Jordan Burroughs hasn't seen them in all his years.  I'm even more amazed that you haven't seen refs who call matches entirely different for black wrestlers.  I coached at a school where many of my wrestlers were black and there is no doubt those kids were officiated differently by a not insignificant number of refs.  My guess is while JB was missing all the matside haircuts, he was experiencing and witnessing plenty of those refs using their evening side job as a means to stick it to young black kids.  It's probably why he chose that part of the story to comment on.  

So while I agree social media mob justice is pathetic and I've never had a twitter account or anything like it, I won't shed a tear for the ref whose racism came home to roost, and I won't pine for the world where we ignored that kind of thing.  

I haven’t see anyone defending what he did in 2016 (several including myself stated he probably should’ve been fired then).  Just pointing out that that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with this incident.

So now he has alcohol problems too?  If he’s a racist, he probably didn’t need much alcohol to say what he did in 2016.

Yes I have seen refs call matches different for black wrestlers and that is horrible.  But this guy has been reffing for probably 40 years in an area which has plenty of African American wrestlers, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone say his past reffing was racist. The philly.com article even interviewed the coach of 40+ years from Camden high school (primarily African American), who didn’t say much but seemed to indirectly blame the coach because he stated he keeps 3 of the legal hair covers/headgear in stock.

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