In one of the strangest stories of the past week, a group of high school referees from Washington is facing potential punishment from the Washington Official’s Association (WOA) for trying to help raise awareness for breast cancer.
Nearly 140 referees decided to acknowledge the necessity for breast cancer awareness during last weekend’s games by -- brace yourself -- using pink whistles. The idea came up amongst the group when they realized the deep connection most of them had to the horrible disease.
One of the referees, while speaking to the New York Post, gave a personal account of how cancer touched him and his family: "I have an aunt that's a three-time survivor of breast cancer," referee Gavin Anderson said.
Apparently, though, the WOA isn’t big on honoring and promoting knowledge about illnesses.
This past Thursday, the WOA said that it was considering not allowing the referees who used the pink whistles to work two playoff games. This in turn would cost them two paychecks in addition to the paychecks they had been planning to donate from the “pink whistle game.”
After a number of organizations became livid at hearing about the WOA’s reaction to the whole fiasco, the governing body of Washington referees softened their stance. On Friday, they issued the following statement:
"WOA deeply regrets that there's any perception that we don't support any breast cancer programs."