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Pushed by a referee; what recourse do I have?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mateo, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. Mateo

    Mateo Member

    I was shooting video of a high school football game earlier tonight for the newspaper, and something happened to me that I'm not entirely sure what to do about it.

    Here's the situation: I'm about 40 yards away from the line of scrimmage, since that provides me the best shot of action. No players on the sidelines, no sticks in the way, no coaches yelling at me to get back. Just a clear shot of the action. A running back broke one open and sprinted up the sidelines. I have the kid in my viewfinder and I'm tracking him as he runs past.

    As I turn around to get him attempted to carry two guys into the endzone, someone shoves me from behind. I figured it was an over-zealous kid who wasn't looking where he was going. As I looked up, I see that it was a ref who pushed me. He's yelling at me to get behind the numbers. I look around, and I'm more than a yard away from the field of play. The entire team is standing on the field watching the play unfold.

    He went out of his way and gave me a good shot to the shoulder. I doubt he would'nt have done it if I was a woman or if I was a student. Then, he proceeded to yell at me to get behind the numbers as he ran past me again. I yelled back, telling him I was with the press, and that he better not push me again. But I doubt he could hear. I was livid.

    Now I understand that the dude's got a job to do. I also understand that the field is very dangerous place to be, especially when you got 300+ pound kids running at you. I'm very aware of my surroundings when I'm out there. That camera handicaps me to everything else around me. But, the last thing I was expecting was a shot from behind from some zebra who was probably out of position to begin with.

    I have never heard of this happening to anyone before. What should I do about this?
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Tell the ref to screw off. Of course tonight's prep football game had the worst crew I have every seen. Got the down wrong that almost screwed a team in the second half.
  3. Sorry, but I think you just walk it off. Once you cool down, talk to the guy's boss and try to sort out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.

    If you approach them calmly you'll probably get an apology. File a complaint and you'll just make it harder for you to do your job.
  4. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Are you sure he didn't run into you by accident?

    Maybe he was watching the play unfold and blindly hit you, then got upset because his attention was diverted when you two collided. It doesn't excuse him for being a toolbox, but it's a reasonable explanation.
  5. Guess you can call me Left-brained on this one ...

    It's too late now but had I been you, I woulda pushed his ass back. Then see what he does. Throw you out of the stadium? Then you file a complaint with the Governing Body for Officiating in your state and you see him in court for assualt.

    He does have jurisdiction over the football field as a referee but that does not give him the right to physically assualt you. I say you either push his ass back or see him in court. It would make one hell of a story, too, and nobody would screw with you again.
  6. Well, it is too late. He didn't push him back. Can't change that now. If he were to push him this far after the fact he would be charged with assault.

    Your advice for him to sue is dumb. Filing a lawsuit doesn't make you a big man. He'll be screwed with even more. Writing a story would likely be a bad idea as well. Who the hell cares? Your readers don't.
  7. At the most, I'd get with that guy and his boss behind closed doors and let him know I'm not happy.
  8. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    If you're behind the dotted line that surrounds the field (I think it's a yard from the sidelines and end lines, someone correct me if I'm wrong), you shouldn't have been shoved. If you're between that dotted line (which all fields are supposed to have clearly marked) and the sideline, you're where you shouldn't be.

    Still, whether you were where you should be or not, you shouldn't have been shoved.
  9. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    Just let it go.

    Rule No. 3 -- it's just a job -- it's nothing personal.
  10. Mateo

    Mateo Member

    Honestly, just by venting here has taking some of my frustration away. But I was curious if anyone had even heard about something like this.

    I mean, I don't mind getting yelled at. But don't blindside me. Don't touch me. If it goes to fisticuffs, I've got Jack Johnson and Patrick O'Leary ready to go...
  11. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Glad you said it before I did. I might not have been so nice.
  12. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    You're actually kind of lucky the ref didn't hear you. It's perfectly within his discretion to toss you from the stadium. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. You would have been in the parking lot with no recourse.
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