I was watching the Champions League the other day, this big soccer tournament in Europe, and it bothered me that the referees wore advertisements.
It shouldn’t have been too surprising because ads are posted everywhere: on players’ jerseys, on the field, along the walls, on the stadium and so on, but something really annoyed me about the refs’ “Fly Emirates” patches, an ad for Emirates Airlines.
A ref is meant to be impartial and I want that standard to continue off the field. Not only do I want the ref to make the right decision in regards to the soccer game I’m watching, but I want him to be completely unbiased in every way if he’s going to be parading around as an umpire.
Therefore, if I say to the ref, “Hey, that was a great call, and also, what’s the best airline for flying from Hamburg to Dubai?” I don’t want him to keep Lufthansa’s services a secret because he’s a pawn in Emirates’ global marketing campaign. I want him to be fair. I want him to be a ref.