There is an old and respected ethical principle in sports: Don’t hit an opponent when he is down.
This is why I found what happened in Friday night’s soccer game between Conway High and South Florence High beyond the ethical pale. Conway’s goalie dove on the ball and was lying defenseless on the ground in front of the goal, while he was repeatedly kicked by South Florence players until they scored.
Conway’s goalie was injured and remained on the ground. The referees did nothing to stop the play, let alone talk to the South Florence coach and players after the event.
I call upon the athletic directors at both South Florence and Conway to make sure this does not happen in the future. And I call upon whoever supervises and accredits the referees to emphasize that the first priority of a referee is player safety and good sportsmanship. Fortunately, Conway’s goalie was able to walk off the field, but only after 10 minutes lying on it.
Peter Saltzstein, Conway