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It's Time... To Address A Different Form Of Bullying

Updated: Jan 17

There is one thing you should know about me. I hate bullying. I always have. As an avid NFL fan, I watch football games pretty much every week and I don't think a game goes by where I don't disagree with some of the calls being made by the officials. Sometimes the replays make it clear that they made the right call and sometimes it's obvious they made the wrong call or missed a call entirely. It's frustrating. One difference is that while I may say something in my living room, I don't share those thoughts on social media, chat rooms, or in interviews. I consider that to be a form of bullying, especially since the officials can't respond publicly. Earlier this week, for example, a player on a losing team from one of the playoff games said, "You can't play the Bills and the refs at the same time." Comments such as those may not be the physical type of bullying we may have experienced when we were kids, but public shaming and/or criticizing is a form of bullying. Keep in mind, too, that NFL officials can't respond to criticisms directly. In the last few weeks, I've listened to players, coaches, and commentators calling out NFL officials over calls or missed calls. I don't recall officials pointing out a bad pass, a dropped ball, a fumble, or a bad decision by a coach. As far as commentators go, they make numerous mistakes when calling games, yet I've never heard an official say something about that. Now please don't misunderstand me. Officials make mistakes- there's no question about that, but so do players, coaches, and commentators. The difference is that NFL officials can't publicly call out mistakes others in the game make on a regular basis. It's time to recognize bullying for what it is.

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