Tag Archives: referee

Youth Sports’ Bright Spots, Dark Shadows


Valeria Portillo celebrated her 15th birthday this year by the bedside of her father, Ricardo, who was in a coma in a Salt Lake City, Utah hospital. They were supposed to be in Disneyland celebrating.

A few days later, on May 4, Ricardo died of head injuries he received at the hand of a 17-year-old youth league soccer player who didn’t like the penalty referee Portillo called on him.

I can’t imagine what Ricardo’s family is going through, how tragic it must be to lose a father and husband, friend and mentor to such a senseless act. The local community held a memorial service for him and people there praised him as a dedicated and giving human being. There hasn’t been any news about the young man who caused Ricardo’s death. Too bad. If there were; if the coverage of the tragedy were as drawn out as O.J. Simpson’s, it may have helped spur some positive change in the rules governing bad behavior. Continue reading