Should Youth Sports Referees and Officials Worry About Getting Canceled?

YouTube is filled with videos of “Karens.” Some of them show people behaving horribly, others are taken out of context, and some are intentional efforts to cancel someone. With all of the cameras on the sidelines, it’s no surprise that there’s a viral incident in youth sports almost every week.

Any time parents feel wrong, the cameras start coming out (just look around at any game). Sometimes, they just don’t know the rules or realize that they’re the ones that look foolish. However, right or wrong, there are people out there attempting to ruin an official’s life or livelihood over a soccer game.

Here is one of the most famous incidents.

Orlando City SC is condemning a social media post that targeted a Major League Soccer referee.

“When you have a lot of free time on Summer vacation,” the post said, adding the hashtag: UnleashThe Ruckus. It went on to include the referee’s business address and phone number.

That was in the pros, but it’s way more common in youth sports.

Officials now have to worry about

  • Negative reviews on their business either with comments about a game or with fake negative experiences by people who have never used that business. The latter is so common it has a dictionary name —Review Bombing.
  • A call going viral as an example of that official discrimating against a player.
  • Other negative character attacks, e.g. “Karen,” “on a power trip,” “drama ref,” etc.
  • Being called lazy, tired, or just plain bad after being the only one to volunteer to pick up extra games so they could be played.
  • Their employer worrying about negative publicity.
  • Other harm to their reputation in the community after a viral incident.

Here are just a few examples of negative videos. You can click the links to see many, many more. Note some of the sensationalized titles. And even when the referee had a bad game, is this something anyone wants to be subjected to?

The truth is, these issues are causing many people to choose not to become a referee or complete their annual recertification.

Leave a Comment

Stream the Top Leagues
Stream the Top Leagues
Includes games from UEFA Champions, Europa, and Conference Leagues, Serie A, NFL, SEC...Show More
Includes games from UEFA Champions, Europa, and Conference Leagues, Serie A, NFL, SEC, NWSL, CONCACAF, Argentine Primera División, Brasileirão Série A, Scottish Professional Football League, and more. Show Less