There is something to be said about authority figures in sports, actually about authority figures in general. We don’t like them. I don’t know exactly why we don’t like them. I wager there are several factors about authority figures that inspire a small measure of hatred in our bones. We can’t help but feel a sense of fear and jealousy among our fellow authority figures.
Feelings such as jealousy and fear that are inspired by authority figures are reason enough to dislike them. But let us remember the following facts that make judges, referees and commissioners necessary to the entire sports infrastructure.
- They are qualified professionals in the sports industry to make appropriate calls.
- Someone has to have the stones to make unfavorable calls.
- Everyone loves a scapegoat.
Keith Kizer is the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the source of animosity among of fighters and fans. Kizer is the man responsible for Nick Diaz’s, soon to be completed suspension, after testing positive for marijuana metabolites. Kizer is undoubtedly the least popular person associated with the UFC.For every bad call, suspension and bad judgment, the blame usually will fall on Kizer. But Kizer is not fazed by these criticisms. Here is what Kizer had to say about his decisions.
“I welcome criticism. None of us are above criticism. I welcome honest criticism-whether it is constructive or correct or not as long as it’s honest.”
It’s good to know Kizer is a welcoming target for critics. But let’s be honest; when a fighter is suspended or disqualified, that is usually on the fighter’s own irresponsibility. The sanctioning bodies are just there to lay down the law. Are the figures of authority always right? No, no one is. But as it as; they are the most qualified to make those calls nobody likes.
So why are figures of authority great scapegoats? Obviously because they’re the shot callers and nobody likes those guys. I believe, not many people are willing to blame their beloved fighters or players for a mistake they made. Kizer and other figures of authority are the necessary outlets for disgruntled fans to take their frustrations out on. Thank you Kizer, if I ever need someone to blame for Alistair Overeem taking performance enhancing drugs, you’re my guy to blame.