Statement of Regret
Are there officiating mistakes for which we should publicly apologize? Just writing that question makes me a bit uneasy. My earliest years, officiatingwise, unfolded in the age when leagues and officiating leadership responded to questions with this: “We don’t talk about officiating.” That position added to the fire of suspicion that we favor players/teams or that we are not held accountable.
When Referee started 43 years ago, we were hard pressed to find anything being written or reported about officials. We had to dig hard for every news item, every photo and feature story. We had to walk through walls to get a comment. Officiating was not public.
Now officiating is public and, in some ways, a Petri dish in which the culture of sports and our larger culture gets agitated, stirred together. This fact led to the question I posited above. So now, back to my discomfort. When we make a mistake, are there times when that mistake should be acknowledged from within officiating itself?