Should Players be Fined for Their Opinions?

After the Barcelona vs. Arsenal game, Robin Van Persie made some comments that are sure to get him fined or suspended.

Robin van Persie receives his marching orders after kicking the ball away

They included calling the official, Massimo Busacca, a joke. I have been on both sides of the spectrum because I am both a soccer player and a certified referee.

I know from the side of the official that it is not fun to be criticized. This poor official was insulted on a public scale. Although he did have a horrible day at the office, it should not matter what is performance went.

In my mind the right of free speech carries over to soccer players. The players have opinions and they should be able to express their opinions without facing fines or suspensions. However, my feeling is that refs should have every right to have a rebuttal about what a tool the player in question is.

There is entertainment for me when players criticize refs. I have felt the frustration they have and it is blood boiling. Being able to rant about what an incompetent blind bat a ref is releases some of the anger.

But refs sometimes feel the same way about belligerent players. Refs should also be able to get the satisfaction of ranting a little to easy the pressure. This will bring more entertainment and more justice to the world of soccer.

By putting through these changes we can avoid this:

4 thoughts on “Should Players be Fined for Their Opinions?

  1. My least favorite part of soccer is when the players “Talk” with officials. Such a waste of time and breath. If a player was actually going full out they wouldn’t want to expend energy on a fruitless task. Never seen a call reversed. Soccer is obsessed with head games. Great drama and blog fodder for the fans I guess.

    • I have never seen a call reversed either. However, if a player can really intimidate the ref, they gain a large advantage because the ref will start calling the game more their way. It might seem like they are a bunch of whiners but they are just trying to win.

  2. I just watched FAB 5 on ESPN. Jalen Rose is the greatest trash talker of all time. He wasn’t confrontational, he was psychological and methodical with his words. When he got in your mind, you were done. I assume football players are using this same strategy with the officials.

    • I agree with you on that. The smart footballers do but unfortunately for me being a ref, there are still players who think that the vulgar insult will create a large change. I feel that the questioning technique is the best one because it really gets in refs heads and hopefully (from a players standpoint) makes the ref question of his or hers calls.

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