I’m sure many of you have seen it on television sportscasts – a video of dirty play in a soccer match between college varsity teams from New Mexico and BYU. It showed New Mexico’s Elizabeth Lambert engaging in dirty tricks such as elbowing an opponent in the back; kicking a ball into a player’s face; kneeing an opponent in the stomach; punching in the face; and most damaging, pulling an opponent’s ponytail from behind so hard that it dropped her like a stone and had the potential to cause major whiplash.
The video has gone “viral” and in addition to appearing on YouTube, has been shown on major sports news broadcasts all over North America. Do I know the whole story? No. Was there major provocation? Maybe – at least one of her “shots” was in retaliation for an elbow she received.
Lambert is apparently a master in choosing her moments, because most of these infractions went unpenalized. However, in an age in which video cameras are everywhere: in the hands of parents, fans, team staff…and in cell phones…it’s no longer easy to get away with such behaviour.
Elizabeth Lambert is reported by teammates to be a wonderful person off the soccer pitch. She has apologized and the negative attention has punished her well beyond what is normal. And she was also suspended indefinitely. But none of this would have happened if she hadn’t been caught on tape.
And dirty is dirty. With a recent study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine indicating that, every year, over 14,000 serious sports injuries at the high school level occur because of illegal player activity, such behaviour cannot be tolerated.
So, dirty players, beware. Even if the refs don’t see you, someone in the stands will take notice. And that someone may have a video camera!
The video is below:
Dick Moss, Editor,
[tags]physical education,dirty play in sport,sport infractions,sport ethics