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Deadly behavior hits the pitch

Written By: Terry Foster | July 2, 2014

Filed Under: Uncategorized

John Bieniewicz will never referee a game again. He will never hug a loved one or go to a Detroit Catholic Central football game.

He won’t enjoy the rest of this great Michigan summer or complain about our Michigan winters. No more Michigan football games and no more earning a living for his people.

He was murdered because he dared give a rowdy player a red card during a 30 and over recreation soccer game. Think about how silly this sounds. He was doing his job as a referee when a man punched him in the face on a Livonia soccer field. Bieniewicz later died at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Livonia police said the culprit is Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad. His attorney said he is not guilty. Of course we will let the court system decide that.

The bottom line is we are taking our frustrations on the field too seriously. We are fighting and cursing and making asses of ourselves on the pitch, the basketball court and on softball fields. I used to play pickup basketball at a gym and a guy punched another man so hard that he broke his leg.

I see parents chase officials after games. Last year a 17-year-old Utah soccer player punched a ref and killed him. My daughter got stomped during a soccer game and the girl used the same excuse as Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. She was trying to disengage herself from the situation.

Yeah, OK.

Pickup basketball players settle disputes with guns.

What is going on here?

We always complain about professional athletes acting like fools. We shake our heads while our children imitate them. The adults are doing the same and it is a damn shame that Bieniewicz will never get to ref a game again or love the people that mean so much to him.


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One Response to “Deadly behavior hits the pitch”

  1. Greg Schroeder Says:


    John grew up just down the street from me in West Bloomfield back in the 70′s. My first memory of John was when I was 14 and he was about 5. I was cutting our lawn when he came over with his sister. I offered a ride on the tractor and he just broke into the biggest smile that I can see to this day. Until I heard about the tragedy that had befallen him, I hadn’t thought of him or that day so many years ago, for decades.

    The Bienienwicz family moved to Milford around the time I started Central Michigan and began writing for you at CM Life. Well, you were the assistant sports editor at the time. Anyway I didn’t see John until I attended one of his sister’s graduation party, which occurred about 7 years after they moved. While I hardly recognized him because he’d grown over a foot to about 6’4″, he remembered me and with that broad grin, I thought what a nice young man he grew up to be…though he was just 15.

    It’s so great to see that he became a man I’d be proud to call a friend. He stayed that friendly, kind young boy I knew for the first eight years of his life. I only wish I’d gotten to get caught up with him after all these years.

    Terry, thanks for caring enough to post a blog about such a tragic event. John deserved better than to be murdered by such an evil, disgusting excuse for a human being. It’s a fate that was preventable; had the culprit simply taken a deep breath, counted to 10 and then taking the red card and then go home to be with his family on what was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Instead, he took a father away from his family forever.


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