This week we’ve got another news story about poor behavior in the NFL — except this time it was one of the referees, not the athletes, that allowed insults to fly. Roy Ellison, who has been an NFL official for 11 years, apparently used expletives towards Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins last week. He has been suspended from officiating until week thirteen in the season.
Granted, sports officials often find themselves on the receiving end of all sorts of negativity — dirty looks from athletes, outbursts from coaches, and especially shouts of dismay from spectators. It is the role of a referee to keep their composure in all of these events and ensure the game moves forward. We liked the description of an official’s role from Sport New Zealand’s website:
“Sports officials must be able to bring control to chaos, understand fairness, promote safety, and encourage good sportsmanship. A sports official must have the positive characteristics of a police officer, lawyer, judge, accountant, reporter, athlete, and diplomat.”
Kudos to the NFL for showing some action in this case. Do you think a one-game suspension is a hefty enough punishment to illustrate how inappropriate it is for officials to behave in such a way?