Dealing with life’s “bad calls”

By now, I imagine most people have heard about the two high school football players in Texas who attacked an unsuspecting referee in a football game last weekend.

I heard about the story but did not realize how bad it was until I watched the video replay.

A referee was watching his area on the field when the play began. One defensive player came up and knocked the official to the ground and the other player speared him with his helmet. I watched the video several times to see if it could have been an accident. It definitely was not an accident or a case of mistaken identity. The guy had on a striped shirt, not a football jersey. Those two players deliberately targeted this official.

According to a news report the players said they were frustrated with perceived bad calls and that one official had used racial slurs.

Let’s get this one out of the way. If an official used a racial slur he doesn’t need to be officiating football games any more. End of story.    But even if he did, that is no excuse for what transpired.

As to bad calls, that’s part of the game. It’s the human element. I have never refereed football, but I have refereed basketball and umpired baseball. Officials will miss calls occasionally. We are human.

What those two players did is inexcusable. The official could have been seriously injured or even killed. Whether he made a bad call or not doesn’t matter.

While there is talk about possible criminal charges, that is speculation at this point. What needs to happen is to make sure that those two players are never allowed to play football again. Too harsh? Not when you consider a man could have been paralyzed or killed by their reckless action.

My prayer is that parents and youth leaders in our churches will use this as a teaching moment. Show the video to youth groups. Teach them what sportsmanship is about. Life is not always going to be fair. Bad things will happen. Just read John 16:33.

John 16:33 makes it clear we will face adversity. But it also reminds us of a promise from Jesus Christ Himself: “Fear not, I have overcome the world.” With a promise like that we can deal with life’s “bad calls.”

4 Responses to “Dealing with life’s “bad calls””

  1. Phillip Senn Says:

    Not only should they be penalized, with no chance to ever play again, they should be criminally charged, and it should be a “conspiritory” charge. Furthermore, the entire team should be put on a suspension for the rest of the year. This should not be tolerated, and a string message should be sent to every team that disrespect of a person of authority, will not be tolerated. More and more, in our society, if we don’t like the outcome of a situation, we tend to blame the “judge”. It even extends to religious thought, as well. If you don’t like what the Bible says, blame GOD, the SUPREME judge.

  2. Willie McLaurin Says:

    Great post! If the response to bad calls on the football field ends like this, then this is a precursor to the response of the bad calls in the game of life. Sports should be a place where character lessons are cultivated in our young people.

  3. Willie McLaurin Says:

    Reblogged this on Words of Wisdom and commented:
    Leaders must know how to respond to the Bad calls of life. Ready the blog by my friend and Colleague Lonnie Wilkey who is the Editor of the Tennessee Baptist Convention paper, The Baptist & Reflector.

  4. James Twilbeck Says:

    As one who coaches boys in Upwards Football, obviously there is no excuse for what those 2 boys did to the ref. But I reminded of Paul’s words, where sin abounds, grace abounds more. Yes the boys and coach need to face some type of disciplinary action, but as a learning tool, not to completely remove them from the game. Every week I have to do the same type of teaching with my 3rd grade boys in trying to help them understand football but more importantly in growing in their relationship with Christ.

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