Mark Cuban is Jerk of the Week for crossing the line with refs



Aren’t those loud and obnoxious fans at sporting events jerks?


The ones who are constantly shouting and cursing and getting on the refs. The unhinged people in the stadium who take it to a different level, who cross the line between accepted socio-sporting behavior and something you need to show proof of age to be around.


Every game you’ve ever been to in your life, you have likely witnessed this ugly spectacle.


They use filthy language and speak at annoyingly high volumes, they act like having a seat in the building entitles them to rain vulgar insults down on referees and bark at officials with the kind of rage reserved for someone who just keyed up the side of your car.


For what? Traveling? Someone was over the line?


These loudmouths are the lowest forms of life in sports, total jerks you want to be nowhere near during a game you’ve shelled out big bucks to go to. Someone should run a presidential election on a mission to deport these people and build a wall to stop them from trying to get back in.


Lo and behold, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is one of these people.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been heavily fined for ripping the refs.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been heavily fined for ripping the refs.

(LM Otero/AP)


According to The Vertical this week, the National Basketball Referees Association wants something done about Cuban bullying refs “via threats and intimidation.”


The “Shark Tank” star has been critical of the quality of NBA officiating for years and he’s been heavily fined for it. His behavior during games toward officials led to the NBA establishing enhanced penalties for team officials getting on the refs and cursing in front of spectators and kids.


Despite the new rules, the NBRA says Cuban is particularly tough on refs.


Cuban is a brilliant entrepreneur. He’s likeable and done very well for himself and there is a ton he does that’s great for basketball, business and his community. This part of him though, the scorched earth slice of Cuban that has him calling refs “chicken s–t” and yelling “you f–ked up this game” makes him a giant jerk.


This is all part of a bigger problem.


For whatever reason, the laws of society dictate it’s OK to rail on a ref. For the same wacky rules that protect you from being body slammed by one of the guards at Buckingham Palace when you yell in their faces, screaming awful things at refs is socially acceptable. It’s safe. They typically don’t return fire.


Hell, arguing with umpires is as much a part of being a baseball manager as filling out the lineup card is.


Ultimately, this kind of boorish behavior has trickled down from professional sports into society and led to several incidents in recent years in which referees at recreational and amateur events have been physically attacked, beaten and even killed by emboldened, lunatic fans and enraged players.


Ricardo Portillo, a 46-year-old Utah soccer ref, died in 2013 after he was punched by a player who disagreed with a call. That’s an extreme example, but it’s a product of the mentality that it’s OK to treat referees and officials with no respect.


In recent months, Cuban has been especially critical of Donald Trump. He’s taken issue with Trump’s unpreparedness and not making the effort to learn about policy. Ironically, he was originally a Trump supporter because of Trump’s brash talk; he liked that Trump was “unfiltered.”


That makes sense, because Cuban’s unfiltered, too.


And that’s what makes him such a jerk this week.

Don Cherry (r.) draws attention to himself on every broadcast, so he needs to zip it about Cam Newton.

Don Cherry (r.) draws attention to himself on every broadcast, so he needs to zip it about Cam Newton.

(Dave Sandford/Getty Images)


SOUR GRAPES


Canadian hockey broadcaster Don Cherry has made a career out of being a jerk. From making no attempt to properly pronounce the names of European players to questioning the manhood of French-Canadians, Cherry’s brand has always been less than politically correct.


On Monday, Cherry tweeted “Cam Newton quarterback of the Carolina Panthers and his agent should get the video of Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of Green Bay, and learn how to act as a quarterback in the NFL. Confidence with class.”


Cherry takes issue with Newton’s excessive touchdown celebrations.


“Newton should learn from a class guy and act like Aaron Rodgers,” he wrote. “When Aaron scores he just looks and says nice touchdown and he acts like I’ve done that before and I’ll do it again.”


Only a jerk would be so offended by someone celebrating a touchdown (or a goal, which Cherry’s taken issue with, too).

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers now profits on his 'championship belt' celebration.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers now profits on his ‘championship belt’ celebration.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)


Or maybe Cherry’s never seen Rodgers’s “Championship Belt” celly? A gesture so beloved and well-known Rodgers was able to profit off it, renaming it “The Discount Double-Check” after it appeared in State Farm insurance commercials.


But only a special kind of jerk would rip Newton for putting on “a show” and trying to draw attention to oneself, when he himself dresses like this and this … and acts like this and this every Saturday night on TV.


CALL WAITING


Derrick Rose was a big jerk this week not so much because he took an emergency personal day without asking the Knicks permission, but because he didn’t answer when his bosses and friends called to see if he was, first and foremost, OK.


Whatever caused Rose to hurry home to be around family in Chicago and skip Monday’s game against New Orleans was probably significant. You have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and accept that something in his life required his emergent attention. We’ve all been there. Sometimes you just don’t stop for red lights, that kind of stuff.

A simple phone call or text too much to ask, Derrick Rose?

A simple phone call or text too much to ask, Derrick Rose?

(Erik Williams/USA Today Sports)


And we’ve all tried to reach someone, by phone or text or even email and sometimes waited and waited for a response. Depending on who you’re trying to reach, it can be agonizing. Technology has put us all in immediate touch with each other and in business and society, a timely response is courteous and expected. You get a text, you hit them right back.


So when there’s no response, when there’s no answer, there’s cause for concern.


Some people just don’t respond right away. Some people don’t call or text you back. These are the people that show up late or not at all, leaving you to sweat it out. And that’s part of what makes those people jerks.


Rose was one of those people this week.


Finally, Johnny Manziel is totally a jerk for charging $50 for selfies at the Super Bowl. But the people standing in line and actually buying them are even jerkier. Because any fool knows you can take pictures with Johnny Football for free later on at the club.


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