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.
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.