A familiar pattern has emerged in the championship and the year as a whole, as we have seen and heard of many instances in the past number of weeks where the match referee, the linesmen, the umpires and the fourth Official are subjected to enormous levels of abuse which cannot be considered normal by anyone’s standards.
The majority of the abuse is a behaviour which has been engrained from a young age, a decision goes against our team and our anger is directed at the referee. Many times however the abuse takes on a sinister tone and it’s important to remember that the match officials are amateurs who are carrying out their duties out of a love for the games themselves.
Gaelic Match Officials Association (GMOA) are pleased to launch the “Referees are human too” campaign, we are instigating this not just on behalf of our members but on behalf of all match officials who officiate at GAA Games week after week.
We are asking the fans, the managers, the players and the pundits to remember that the match officials:
- have a hugely difficult job to do, particularly on big match days
- are Amateurs who are doing the job for nothing
- will have family at the games themselves who have to listen to the same abuse
- do not deserve to be verbally or physically abused or intimidated in any way shape or form, match officials live normal lives within our communities, regardless of a result or an incident they do not deserve to be ostracised or singled out for further abuse in the days and weeks after a game
- without referees games cannot be played
No individual has the right to lay hands on any match official or umpire, there is no excuse, it’s simply not acceptable. We also remind adults that they set an example for all children at our games, if they see adults directing verbal abuse at a match official they think this is acceptable behaviour, and the cycle continues.
So in the coming weeks and months please remember Refereess are Human too.