Hockey establishment attempts to silence fans protesting referees in Anaheim
Business has been booming this year at RefYouSuck.com T-shirt Company.
Thanks largely to some notoriously bad calls made by World Series umpires
and some generally bad officiating across the sports world at large.
With Hockey season in full swing, fan frustration with bad calls seems not to have improved, and the Hockey establishment seems bent on making matters worse by targeting fans who dare speak out!
Dozens of fans wearing Ref You Suck! t-shirts to Friday nights Duck Vs Canucks game were given a choice by security: remove their shirts at once, or be barred from entering the Honda Center, regardless of whether they were season ticket holders or not.
On what fans were told was a new policy, security officers’ promptly seized, confiscated and disposed of all posters and stickers bearing the companies slogan. Families, couples, and guests standing in line, were asked to step away from the line entering the arena only to be surrounded by security and told to remove their t-shirts. Some ticket holders were even told to take the shirts back to their cars or drop them in the trashcan.
“We were told that the Ref You Suck shirts would no longer be allowed
inside the Honda center” Said a 55 yr old season ticket holder of 10+ years. The guards kept him and his family waiting for “replacement shirts” that the arena donated since they didn’t have another shirt to wear.
Another group of Ref You Suck supporters who demanded a refund for their tickets were given Honda Center t-shirts by security.
Whether the outright ban of Ref You Suck shirts came down directly from the NHL, or from the Honda Center management has not been disclosed. It is clear, however, that fan’s first amendment rights were not considered when the decision was passed.
Ducks Season ticket holder and Ref You Suck founder Brian Gilmore had this
“I feel horrible about what happened. Supporters of the anti-ref rally were family, friends, volunteers- who just happened to be walking by, and Duck fans who read my blog. They all showed up to the game early to take part in the rally- only to be embarrassed and humiliated in front of hundreds of people waiting to enter the arena. This is not how any arena should treat the home crowd.”
Gilmore went on to say,
“Every sport imposes fines on owners, players, and coaches for harsh criticism of refs. The fans are the home teams’ last line of defense against bad calls, even if it is as simple as a T-Shirt or bumper sticker! We showed up to voice our opinion on what many felt was horrible officiating that took place on Oct. 26th against the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Shame on the Honda Center for stepping on the rights of their own fans. Not only do they owe everyone who was embarrassed an apology, they also may want to stop regulating their customers’ clothing. Especially because in this day and age, the refs and umps do suck! Oh by the way, has anyone seen the Fan Dress Code Handbook? I seem to have misplaced mine!