One Last Point: Death on the field

Written by Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer July 09, 2013 08:13 pm

I’ve been a meat packer, but I’ve never shot and killed my own animal for food.

I’ve been an installer of hearing aid testing booths, but I’ve never been deaf.

I’ve been a referee, but I’ve never stabbed a player to death and then been drawn and quartered, beheaded and staked at midfield of the pitch on which I was working.

I don’t know if Brazilian referee Octavio Da Silva has ever been a meat packer or a booth installer, but he most assuredly became a referee who stabbed and killed a player and then was drawn, quartered, beheaded and staked on the field after fans took a deadly exception to his actions.

According to reports, the player Da Silva killed had argued a call and then hit the referee, who drew a knife and stabbed the player.

First of all, why is a referee carrying a knife?

A whistle? Absolutely. A can of mace? Maybe. But a knife? If a referee has to fear the players and fans so much that he carries a knife, it might be time for him to quit ref’ing.

Second, since when is it OK for a player to attack a referee to the point that he must defend himself with deadly force?

I’ve played a lot of games where the referee was horrible, to the point of being booed off the field, but I’ve never thought of attacking him.

It’s just not acceptable for a player to disregard the instructions of a referee and then attack him.

Third, vigilante justice? What?

I’ve done my share of yelling at, jeering at and ridiculing a number of referees — right up to the point of almost being kicked out of the game — but I would never consider coming out of the stands to tackle, tie up and stone to death a referee, then cut off his head and put it on a stake in the middle of the field.

It is understandable that the fans were upset. One of their athletes had just been killed by the referee, but there needs to be some sanity.

Brazil hosts the World Cup soccer tournament next year and the Olympics in 2016. 

I’m betting that no one argues a call with a referee at those venues.

Of course, I’ve eaten at a Brazilian restaurant, but I’ve never been to Brazil.