You need to open this post email and read/watch it from the blog. If you didn’t hear about this yet, it made the New York Times. Turn up the sound on the video and note that these are schools from two counties just outside of Pittsburgh.

If anybody wonders why I agreed to coach middle school girls soccer 40 minutes from my house, it’s because it was about more than soccer. It was about empowering these young women to take charge of their world.

Considering Coach Kerr is working with both of his youngsters on the ice now, I’m thinking he would have jumped on the ice, stopped the game and packed up the team. . .I asked Coach Kerr for his thoughts and received the following:

Coach Kerr

Dustin’s instincts are also within the guidelines of USA hockey. I understand hockey and soccer are a little different for referees. Small little barns with lots of bouncing noise and boards and glass between the crowd and fans in hockey compared to a big open field and a clear line of site. I guess that could excuse the officials but I’m usually aware of everything even in a large stadium.

I know the referee in me would not have hesitated in terminating the match, completing the paperwork and filing supplemental paperwork against the host team since this was not in the highest ideals of interscholastic education. . .or humanity in general we should be teaching compassion, kindness and humility in sport as well as technical skill and team tactics.

I reached out to my referee community and received this response.

PA West Referee and Assignor.

This exceeds my really low bar for sexism, racism, dissent, lack of human compassion and decency. . . .this is the whole reason I pulled out my coach cap this year I’ve seen too many bad apples in the stands, on the sidelines, and even on the field as a referee lately. I was concerned about the pay to play state of the game and the toxic games it was creating which only added to the referee headcount problem I’m luck enough to handpick the games I do and be limit them so I can perform to the best of my abilities.

We need to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate towards our fellow humans and hopefully this sporting example will be a teaching moment.

2 responses to “It was so big, it made the NY Times.”

  1. dpankiewicz Avatar


    1. dpankiewicz Avatar

      Here’s to opening the dialogue. What would you do?

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