Fining refs for wrong calls would be wrong message

When it comes to high-pressure situations and constant backlash from fans, being a professional athlete can be one of the toughest jobs in sports.

But have you ever thought about the individual standing on the sideline? The one with the striped shirt and whistle in his or her mouth, armed and ready? There they stand, fully knowing that fans are just waiting to tear them down the minute a call does not go their way.

Entering the field of officiating comes with the understanding that no one is ever going to completely agree with you. But do officials sometimes deserve this backlash from fans? Most certainly.

Less than a month ago, controversy struck at the Lakers vs. Celtics game when a missed call took place with just seconds left on the clock of a tied game. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum fouled Lakers star Lebron James at the rim. The referees let the call slip through the cracks, sending the game into overtime. The Celtics went home with a 125-121 win.

An ESPN reporter, Dave McMenamin, later took to Twitter to acknowledge that the NBA determined that officials missed the call.

Maybe you remember June of 2010.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from being the 21st MLB pitcher to ever throw a perfect game, until umpire Jim Joyce called Cleveland Indian Jason Donald, who was out by one step, safe at first base.

A missed or incorrect call like this can affect the turnout of a game and the athlete’s career, while also destroying the official’s career.

To prevent bad calls in the future, some athletes believe that officials need to be held responsible. Lakers forward Anthony Davis thinks referees should start being fined, he told Sports Illustrated.

If athletes can get fined for certain behaviors, why can’t referees be fined, too?

Some say it depends on the type of mistake.

If multiple errors occur with time and a pattern emerges, officials should be held accountable. However, an honest missed call or bad call once in a while is no reason to be fined. Do players get fined for taking one bad shot? No. Is the backlash and hate punishment enough?

Being a college athlete myself, I have seen a variety of bad calls in my time. Yet, I still see it as a perfectly imperfect system.

Officials are only human. Just as athletes make mistakes on the field, officials are bound to do the same.

No matter the career, even the best of the best are bound to slip up once in a while.

Do we as athletes and fans deserve better? Yes.

But is it fair to expect perfection?