I respect officials in any sport ��� referees, umpires, judges ��� for doing their job day in and day out in the face of increasingly demanding and disrespectful fans. This happens on any level of play; I umpire slow-pitch co-ed recreational softball in the summer and am blown away by the lack of respect. The complaints and hostility even come from coaches who should be helping to create a fair and positive competition.
Basketball referees, especially, have been getting a lot of heat lately with the whirlwind intensity of March Madness. I���m usually quick to defend officials, but just a few days ago there was an incident that was controversial. Tim Duncan got tossed from a game for laughing on the bench. For Laughing. On the bench.
Last month I blogged about an article by John Feinstein in the Washington Post that suggested officials should be made available for post-game interviews. His argument centered on the fact that officials don���t have to defend their bad calls, and because they are paid professionals they should have to walk up to microphone just as the other paid professionals do.
While, overall, I don���t believe referees having to defend their calls is a good idea, I would be very interested to hear what the referee in this case has to say for himself. Do you think officials should be subject to a post-game press conference?