I have dealt with multiple issues within derby, some stem from being a woman, some from being a woman ref, some from being a person. I have been told that I couldn’t use the ref room because it’s for men only. I have gotten dick pics from other officials. But two instances…
The first occurred when officiating a game in NY. Before the game, a referee complained about the grapes having seeds, walked up to me while changing, and spit them in my face. This was the first time that I had ever met him, so there was no way that anything in the past made him think we had any level of familiarity of that could allow for this to be a joke. The game’s HR was there and was stunned. After the offending ref walked away he asked what we should do. I told him we would wait until after the game. After all, what is the precedent for this? After the game I wrote to the league and informed them that I would not work with them if the offending ref remained on their roster. The league responded very swiftly saying that they would look into it. They responded quickly after that saying that not only were they not rostering him, but after discussion they found that he had sexually harassed other members who were scared to come forward until now. Other local leagues refused to use him. He was taken in for one season by a league that had difficulty finding willing officials due to their verbal abuse of them (NSOs too!) during games. The following season he was done with reffing because no one wanted to use him.
Elizabeth C. sent us two stories, which we have split into two separate posts. This is the first. Read her second story here.