Swearing at referees has been a major talking point in recent weeks, but one Major League Rugby captain has surprised many onlookers by asking for one of his own players to be sent off.
It came during a match between Houston and Utah at the weekend, with one of the Houston players allegedly lashing out at the referee following a break in play.
The outburst was probably more a cry of frustration than an outright attack on the referee, but the latter made it quite clear to Houston captain Luke Beauchamp that he was not going to put up with that sort of treatment a second time.
Beauchamp was then picked up on the ref’s mic advising that he send off his own player.
“If a player speaks to me like that again, I will send him off,” the referee told Beauchamp.
Beauchamp then replied: “send him off, send him off” before going on to say what sounded like either “he shouldn’t be talking like that” or “this is what we talked about”, with the latter perhaps suggesting that it isn’t the first time his team-mate’s discipline has been an issue.
Luke Beauchamp asks for his own player to be sent off after learning that he swore at the referee.
This is what you call leadership 👏 pic.twitter.com/CSlxVKkig7
— The Rugby Network (@therugbynetwork) June 27, 2021
We’ve seen two infamous incidents in which players have actively sworn at referees in the English premiership, most notably Dylan Hartley, who cost himself a place in the British and Irish Lions squad in 2013 after being sent off by Waynes Barnes in the final for Northampton.
Then just this month, Leicester’s Tom Youngs received a a two-week ban – one of which was suspended until 2022 after his expletive-laden conversation with referee Ian Thomas at the end of a premiership clash with Bristol.