What a sad story. He sounded like a good man. Good luck to his family. I hope
justice is served. This 17-year old has issues and I blame his upbringing.
Unfortunate situation all around.
This is horrible news. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
As a soccer fan, former player and referee, I am deeply saddened. Soccer
tradition has always been a gentlemen's sport. For example: if a player is
down and needs medical attention, the player with the ball is expected to
deliberately kick the ball out of bounds to allow the coach and trainer to
attend to the injured player. Once the injured player has left the field, on the
ensuing throw-in, the ball is thrown to the side which kicked the ball out.
Something is quite wrong when emotions get this out of hand. My
heart and prayers go out to Mr. Portillo's family. May the Lord's
peace be with them at this difficult time.I am concerned also for
the young man involved. In a moment of anger he did something he will have to
live with forever--not an easy burden to carry.If any good is to
come of this, perhaps we can begin a dialog as a result of this wake-up call,
both on the local and national level, about anger and abusive language in
sports, beginning with parents on the sidelines.
I am so sorry this had to happen. He was doing what he enjoyed..Our thoughts and
prayers are with his family at this time. May God bless this wonderful
man's family with peace.
This story just breaks my heart and I'm so very sad for his grieving wife
and children. I hope that there be a fund set up to help his family. What a
terrible senseless loss.
Soccer is not a gentleman s sport where I live in South America. My kids had a
live for the game until moving here. It is aggressive and harsh. Not fun. God
bless all involved. Such a tragedy.
This will become a big issue. Couches and organizations of all sports will watch
the back draft on this. Their is a family that lost their dad and a family that
lost their boy. I hope good sportsmanship and manners will be the first step.
Their is a million way to kill some one. I hope that couches and sports can
become true hero's and teach good sportsmanship.
aceroinox, you have some insightful comments, but this incident is only typical
of our society nowadays. There's no way to check comparisons by the
numbers, but growing up in the '50's, at least in our community,
things seemed much more 'gentlemanly' and 'ladylike'. Gun
control, immigration, human rights, etc., just were not issues back then; sports
was more sportsmanlike, and race issues existed but were distant. Seems to me
the problems began to a certain extent in the late '50's with so
called 'free love', increased divorce rates, drug abuse, increasing
dysfunctional families, and a lack of emphasis on faith in God. Shouldn't
that tell us something about current conditions?As to human rights
issues, positive gains in the same period of time have largely given way to
those desiring a more humanistic ideology than a reliance upon the grace of god.
Even with the variant interpretations of that belief, things were more positive
then than they are now. Government, churches, schools, medical & health
institutions are largely powerless to fix many of the problems. We can only do
it on our individual levels.
As an Olympic Athletic Trainer (medical) I know injuries take place, some even
when uncontrolled anger rages. I hope that the National federation would
establish the Portillo Law, that would require ALL players in it's programs
to forego an injury prevention and safety course - one of the main items would
be to teach why not hit/kick in the head/neck regions - as a prerequicite for
licensing players.My prayers go to the Portillo family and the young man
who was part of this accident. I hope there is forgiveness and love shown. One
life ended, hopefully another one is not destroyed also.
Poor sportsmanship at its absolutely worst has resulted in an utterly senseless
outcome. It doesn't get any more tragic than that.My deepest
condolences go out to everyone, especially to the family of the referee.
Jake: Don't be so eager to "blame his upbringing" when we all know
nothing about him and his family. Sometimes even the nicest families with
parents who do everything right still have a child who turns out to have
problems and issues, and who engages in delinquent behavior despite everything
his parents, teachers and religious leaders do.
I am deeply saddened by this tragedy and my hear goes out to both the victim and
that 17 yr old kid and their families. Just wished the doctors were able to do
something to save the man's life. This is the ugly side of sports that is
very unfortunate.May God's blessing and peace brings comfort
and forgiveness to all involved in this terrible tragedy.
Someone once said that Soccer is a gentleman's game played by ruffians,
while Rugby is a ruffian's game played by gentlemen. This violence only
mirrors what I read about soccer matches in Europe where both players and fans
go overboard. To me the question is not more security at the matches, but
better players on the field, with more character and discipline.
aceroinoxFarmington, UTThat is one of the BEST comments
I've read here in a very long time. This is just one more tragic example
of a much larger problem in America.
With prayers and sympathy to the Portillo family. He was obviously a dedicated
man with a gentle heart and a spirit of service to the immigrant community.
There is no doubt that this individual should now be charged as an adult.
How terribly sad and tragic a situation to have occurred. I pray the
Lord's Spirit will be able to have influence upon all who are touched by
this occurrence. The family of the referee is going to need this influence in
such a way as can only come through the peace and understanding that can come
from such a source. The perpetrator of the blow is in dire need of knowing
something of a higher source of reckoning for such actions, peace for him will
never truly come in any other way. I feel something more must be known and
understood by those of us others who have witnessed this unfortunate drama
unfold. There is much clamor for justice to be administered and much directed
towards the perpetrator and to his family. I think we all know and understand
more deeply than just these only.., "it takes a community to raise a
child!" May God bless this family..,
Pretty sad.. One moment of anger and this boy will probably spend time in
prison. Blame who you will but the kid has free agency. He will be the one
paying for his moment of anger. Maybe at least it will teach us all when angry
to kick the ground or a chair or something other than a living being. I am with
Paul James a old sportscaster who talked of boxing and why he never reported on
it. He said " I don't condone a sport where the main goal is to knock
your opponite senseless.. " I don't know what they call it but this
newer kind of kick boxing falls in that catagory. Other sports are rough enough
we don;t need violence as the main goal of a sport..
A sad day for Utah Soccer.May God comfort and bless the Portillo
Such a sad story on all sides.
There are so many things I want to say but shouldn't. I'm ticked that
it had to happen, ticked at the young man that did the punching. I haven't
read anything about the boys upbringing, so I probably should keep that to my
self. I still remember that the testosterone runs deep in some 17 year old
boys. He does need to be held responsible for this, and I hope his conscience
weighs him down for a long time. Long enough to change his direction so he can
become something productive rather than a drain on society.
Sad object lesson about how losing your temper can ruin the rest of your life
(or the life of another).
I am so sorry!! So many lives damaged by this one foolish mistake! May God bless
@aceroinox:Thanks for your thoughtful, sensitive comments. I'm sad for everyone involved. May all of us look for
ways to improve how we treat one another!
I feel so sad for this family. They lost their father because somebody lost
their temper. It's SPORTS people, just a sport! Not worth punching
somebody over in a temper tantrum gone wrong.My heart aches for this
family, and the boy who did it---I know he didn't intend on killing the
referee---but sports should not be so important that one feels they need to
react AT ALL. Even if the referee were wrong in judgement, it's JUST A
I've always heard it said that we are reaching a tipping point in our
obsession with violence and coddling athletes and raising entitled
children--that one day this would all lead to a terrible tragedy. Well, I guess
that all of those things have come together in a perfect storm and a tragedy so
horrible that it simply makes you want to give up on humanity. The 17 year old
goalie is responsible. And so am I. And so are you.
G L WS:"...race issues existed but were distant."Really? In the 50s? With all due respect, you must have read a different
history book than I did.My condolences to Mr. Portillo's
Life in our culture today has become so cheapened that if you don't like
what someone says, doesor even how they look at you, you feel free to
retaliate.I feel so sorry for these young girls who have lost their father
to such a stupid, uncalled reaction, whether right or wrong his call.This
young man should be tried as an adult as an example to other youth of his age
that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.Every life is precious
and until this is respected we will continue to have incidents such as this.
Our condolences to the Portillo family. This is sad.
Deepest sympathies to the Portillo family. This is not an American problem, it
is a world problem. Violence among fans and players has escalated both here and
abroad. At many sporting events it is acceptable, if not expected, to throw
items and direct vulgarity at opposing fans or teams. That culture incites
violence and increases with each season. This tragic event was a product of that
evolution. Addressing the problem is long overdue. What a sad wake up call.
I can only echo what Eliyahu from Pleasant Grove had to say, we know nothing of
this boy or his family so to judge his parents would be very unfair. Look
around,how many kids with a very good upbringing do things that are
unimaginable.To me the greater issue is with our society in general
that glamorizes violent behavior. We are in a precarious position and unless we
bring ethics and morality back in to our society the position will only worsen.
People are so excited about gun laws these days but the issue runs so much
These "leagues" need to be chartered with some organization. While no
money can ever compensate for a family's loss of their father, there will
be medical expenses etc. Something tells me the boy's family would be
unable to provide any financial compensation. But organized leagues usually have
charters and catastrophic insurance policies. Some leagues also provide
sportsmanship classes for parents, players etc. as a mandatory thing before
participation. Also, there is no way as a school or school district, if I was in
charge, let these leagues play on their field unless they had a charter with a
legitimate organization. My heart goes out to this family of this referee.
This is a very sad situation and I hope the local community can rally around his
The man was not repeatedly beaten, nor was this an attempt on his life. It was a
punch that resulted in a small injury, which due to other physical circumstances
with this man resulted in an increase of problems which lead to his death.If they 'throw the book' at this kid, we ought to punish every
punch in America the same way.I feel for this man's family, but
we have no place casting stones at this kid. Give him community service and an
anger management class if you want. But a felony is ridiculous. It's a
farce, not justice. If any of you demanding more have EVER thrown a punch, even
ONCE your life then you are as guilty as this boy.One life was lost,
many lives are in pain. We don't need to ruin another and hurt his loved
ones anymore than they already are. I will be watching the judge of this boy
A great thing that could come out of this would be a reexamination of
sportsmanship and perspective. One of the worst things that could come from
this would be (as JBQ advocates) charging this boy as an adult or charging him
at all for things such as manslaughter. As others have posted, hitting someone
in the head is something we condone as sport (boxing, MMA...). Fights, while
not to be condoned, do happen and this outcome was a fluke. Nothing the legal
system can do or would attempt to do would serve society in this matter or
punish this player beyond the remorse which he will already feel. The
opportunity exists (again) to show forgiveness... and to let the boy and his
parents chart a course of restitution... where one life sadly remains taken,
but not exacerbating the tragedy by taking two lives. And yes, taking whatever
steps which help soccer and youth sports, and all sports, be better, safer and
kept in perspective.
Part of soccer's internationally recognized "hooligan" mentality
practiced by both its players and fans. It is not a gentlemen's sport. So
sad to see this happen to a good family man who truly loved the sport. He
however, was a gentleman.
My deepest sympathies to the family.May we all look into the mirror
and put sports into perspective, and elevate our own behavior.
"Soccer is a gentleman's sport in South America (Continent, not
country), but not in the US"? Seriously? They have armed guards for the refs
leaving games, and people die in violence every year! In South America".
Apart from this unfortunate incident, how many soccer-related deaths do we have
here in the past decade?
A blow to the head can kill anyone. The subdural hematoma is very
life-threatening, with a very slim chance on recovery.Please be kind
- and really think before you act in haste. That ten second counting can save a
life.How we all wish we could just roll back time and stop this from
happening. There are so many affected by this tragedy - the family, the friends,
the young man and his family, and the players of the league with the refs. My heart goes out to them all.
Tragic!I was a High School Dance Coach and one of my team members
did not make the cut to perform at half time because she did not follow the
rules of the team and did not know the routine. She admitted to rule breaking
and not knowing the routine yet her father stood behind the fence where I was
standing, during the half time performance, with the rest of the team
surrounding me and threw himself at the fence, swearing at me in an outrage. The
only thing the school administration did was send a police to escort me off of
the field. They should have removed the angry father. For many years I have
thought of that and the anger that the father had over one missed performance.
It still scares me that there are parent's who disregard rules and
regulations when allowing their children to participate in activities. It also
says a lot about the school systems that no longer support teachers/coaches/etc.
because they are afraid of law suits.
This was criminal assault. People seem to assume that the killer will only
have his conscience to punish him. I disagree. Firstly his conscience
doesn't seem been very active or to have held him back from an attack with
no provocation (other than the normal disciplinary procedures which you must
expect in any sport). I believe the killer is in custody; he should be tried as
an adult in my opinion.I hope this will be a sobering moment for
sports in the schools and anywhere else. Discipline needs to be stricter and
violence should not be tolerated. I have often stated to my spouse
that some of the violent attacks by players in professional sports are criminal
assaults and should all result in the criminal prosecution of their
perpetrators. This is not sport and not sportsmanlike. It is also
to be hoped that early warning signs of violence and bad sportsmanship in young
players should be handled betimes.
Every time a parent, coach, fan yells at a ref, the young people are watching. I
am sure there were many people who influenced this 17 year old's choice to
hit the official. I hope the results will influence many more to
choose more wisely.PS At ReAL games many choose to yell
"U-tah" instead of "you-suck..." at the opposing team's
goalie kicks. Man would be better served if everyone chose to respect everyone
else, even those wearing an opponents or officials uniform.
clearly the intent wasn't to kill. I don't think we need to treat him
like he meant to kill.Let him go. He won't do this again.Forgive.
I pray and light a candle for the father and his family. I light a candle and
pray that the killer gets what he deserves.
So sad of this outcome and so sorry for the loss. When are we going to see the
good things to get rid of those violance, angers, hates and GREEDS? Rest in
@Howard BealYour points make perfect sense, of course. Here is the problem: [KSL] "The teams playing were not
affiliated with the Utah Youth Soccer Association, which represents about 50,000
players across the state... [Tribune] "The game was part of a
'rogue league' unaffiliated with the association or any city or town
recreation department, association CEO Andrew Hiatt said."Unfortunately, we have here in Utah some youth soccer operations which
function out of the regular bounds of bona fide sanctioning bodies and therefore
wouldn't necessarily be affected by the additional preventative measures
you aptly suggest.@MormonSean"It was a punch that
resulted in a small injury, which due to other physical circumstances with this
man resulted in an increase of problems which lead to his death."YOU do NOT know that, sir! The fact is, ANY punch has the potential to
inflict death on ANYONE. "Punching" is not the triviality you imply
that it is.
I was dismayed to read this news. How sad for everyone. Folks, it could be
that a decent young man had a foolish fit of temper that ended the life of a
good man and will change the lives of many others.sad. "School thy
feelings, oh, my brother" has been going through my mind.... "do not
it's emotions smother, but let wisdom's voice control"To me
this further evidence of a more rude, undisciplined society in which we live.
There are terrible consequences to the wild venting of temper. Everyone needs to
get emotions under control. *sad*
@Red"clearly the intent wasn't to kill. ... Let him go. He
won't do this again. Forgive."So if he "only"
wanted to inflict bodily harm, that's okay in your book? He won't do
that again? How do you know? the same could be said of any criminal. "He
won't do it again." Forgive? So then shouldn't we
forgive ALL criminals then, by letting them ALL go?
Furthermore, Teachers and parents will be pointing at this incident as an
example of what can happen - a cautionary tale to potential hot-heads. My
daughter's teacher talked about it today in church. Please, young people
learn from this.
So if I'm Eisenhower Junior High I don't let people play on the field
unless I know who they are and what association they are with.Here's some other problems. Provo School District has spent literally
tens of thousands of dollars resoding parts of its practice fields after several
serious leg injuries. I believe much of the problem was severe overuse of the
fields by other people than Provo HS patrons. This has been a costly thing in
many ways ranging from resoding costs, injury costs, the actual school soccer
team being unable to play on its field for much of their season, along with loss
of space for the P.E. classes for much of the school year.But the
bottom line is that the official or any player associated with this
"league" has no legal protection. Not only has this family lost their
father, they are likely to be saddled with medical bills that could be six
figures. Sanctioned leagues provide protection/insurance in the event of
catastrophic injury. I know these "leagues" will continue to exist but
whether they play on your local school field can be controlled.
Definitely an adult murder charge. I don't think he will get aggravating
circumstances hit to this. However, he will be pleading to 15 years at the
least. Knowing the reputation of Utah's DAs and how high-profile this case
is, he may be stuck with 20 or 30 years.
In some countries, they have gone to war over soccer games. With video games
and going to reset or starting over is not the same as real life. Killing,
maiming, or injuring people is a lot different in real life than on the video
screen. Putting death strategy or even thinking about a bad call going physical
is not a good thing to constantly have in a person's brain from playing
games or even the many movies or videos out there. Kids have experience in
seeing violence, even on the field of hard knocks. Bullying happens in these
children's environment more and more. War, boxing, wrestling and other
forms of violence don't always go by Hoyle's rules and some don't
want to have referees enforce all the rules. We are a nation of law
and order and that is supposedly what makes us different from other nations. We
went through a Civil War because of differences between the sides. That war
cost us more than the deaths of many people, soldiers and civilians including
men, women and children.We don't go to war over a soccer game.
Soccer is more benign than American football?
Condolences to the family.What a tragedy...IF... the
reporting of this incident, is accurate...The family, of the young
man, better hire a good attorney.BTW...How close is the
young man to age 18?
anti-liar,I didn't imagine the kid merely did something just
like so many others. It was reported that the initial injury caused by the boy
were minor. It was due to swelling that his condition changed for the worse.I do not want to hang this boy.I do not want to put him in prison
for 10 years.I do not want to mark him a felon for life, never to be
trusted.I simply want to help him change his behavior (which may
have already taken place), and help him to show others the truth. If he can help
others be less violent during sporting then how is it not better that this
tragedy serve to prevent future tragedies?Those who want to cast
stones are more guilty than those they cast them at. They further the hatred
they pretend to condemn.The best punishment is helping him change
himself where necessary and together helping others change as well. The
requirements of justice and mercy can both be met. This provides a uniquely
praiseworthy outcome.Unless you solely desire to be executioner,
what more could you hope for or want?
From Boston, MA: I had no idea what the name of the primary newspaper was in
Salt Lake City; I had to search that out. I've followed this horrific story
for a few days - - my heart reaching out to the family of the Soccer Referee.
When the news came of the man's death today, I felt compelled to share my
sincerest of sympathies and condolences with the man's family. Our Father, which art in heaven,Hallowed be thy Name.Thy Kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven.Give us
this day our daily bread.And forgive us our trespasses,As we forgive
them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But
deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom,The power, and the
glory,For ever and ever.Amen.
Talk about Justice and Mercy in this case. First thoughts and
prayers to the family who lost their dad. No words can help other than we are
thinking of you.As for the young man. Justice must be served. Yet I
think we all know his intent was not to kill this man. Mercy needs to be
implemented as well. 99 times out of a 100 nothing other than a headache or a
bruise would come of this. Does not make it right but I feel for this young man
who in essesance has now ruined his life. I guess the question is what is the
proper Justice for a fit of anger that turned out to be a million times worse
than what anyone would have thought. How much Mercy do we give? There has to be
a balance. I do not think we need to ruin all of his life yet he needs to have
some punishment. Not sure not playing sports is it. (Part of ot maybe but not
all) Glad I am not the judge. Either in this life or the next.
@MormonSean"The man was not repeatedly beaten, nor was this an attempt
on his life. It was a punch that resulted in a small injury, which due to other
physical circumstances with this man resulted in an increase of problems which
lead to his death.""It was due to the swelling that his
condition changed for the worse."You are wrong. There
weren't other physical circumstances that led to this man's death.
They were all a direct result of his trauma to the head. Exactly what do you
think caused the brain swelling? Many serious brain injuries manifest initially
as seemingly minor symptoms, but as the intracranial pressure increases from
brain bleeding and swelling, lack of blood flow ensues and brain cell death
results.Your sentiments, though compassionate for the perpetrator,
lack accountability, which seems to be a growing and dangerous trend in our
@MormonSean"Those who want to cast stones are more guilty than
those they cast them at. They further the hatred they pretend to
condemn."So, if I seek justice for this senseless act, I am more
guilty? How does that work? And what "hatred" are you talking about?
This isn't about race or bigotry. An innocent man who was serving his
community was KILLED by a kid who didn't like the call in a sporting event!
He may not have intended to kill him but the assault was deliberate and
irresponsible. This was not an accident! If there is no significant consequence
or punishment, what message does that send to others who may have anger
issues.There are thousands of drivers on the roads every day who are
drunk and cause no harm. But the one who recklessly kills a family of four
should not be punished because he didn't mean to hurt anyone? This sad
story is the same type of situation.
@ MormonSeani always see you making the argument that punching
others is a pretty common practice amongst americans. i beg to differ. even if
your intent is not to kill, anytime you physically hit someone, your intent IS
to hurt someone. and if you are willing to hurt someone, you must also be
willing to accept any consequences that come with your actions
Oh no...Lesson learned... Soccer refs, when you pull out a yellow
(or any other color card) don't get so close to the player. Don't get
in his face with it. Give yourself some space to duck or run if needed.
Obviously, someone getting a card is going to be frustrated by the call. You
might have a hot head on your hands like as what seems to have happened here...
and look at the mess all have on their hands now... a dead ref, a kid that might
have to spend a good share of his life behind bars, and will have to live with
the pain of the incident for most of his life. Sad, sad, sad.
The 17 year old "kid" obviously has anger problems, and this is probably
not the first time he has lost control. Further investigations should determine
that. First time or not, he sucker-punched the ref in a cowardly act, and has
to bear the responsibility for that. He deserves to be tried as an adult for
murder/manslaughter, and I hope he spends years in jail. A sad story for
idablu & EightOhOne,At any age, including when you were a minor,
have either of you ever shoved, pushed, or punched anyone?Have you?
@ NeanderthalPheonix, AZSo out of the player and the ref, you
think it is the ref that needed to change his behavior?Wow, I mean
WOW! I think the player was 100% out of line. All fault to the
player.The ref did what he was supposed to do. No fault to the ref.
If that is all you think of refs, perhaps we should have refs
officiate the game from a safety booth, like up by the announcers box. Or better
yet, let the animals play soccer with no officials. Just let them play as rough
as they want. If they assault each other, okay. Want to go sign your kids up for
@MormonSeanIt is remarkable that someone like you, who postures
himself as supremely merciful and forgiving, obviously thinks, simultaneously,
that it is okay to punch people. You asked: "At any age, including when you
were a minor, have either of you ever shoved, pushed, or punched anyone?"No, I haven't, MormonSean, as a matter of fact. How about that.
But that doesn't make any difference. Punching people in the
face or head is a remarkably VIOLENT act. It is alarming that you would think
that it is normal, or okay. I think your attitude is extremely dangerous to
society. And regarding the "minor" punch. Witness reports
indicate that the punch was a POWERFUL blow to the head. The initial injury was
THOUGHT to be minor. However, not all injuries are visible or obvious at
first.And it is horrifying that your compassion for the perpetrator
seems to have eclipsed your sympathy for the deceased and his family. You yourself are not able to bring the deceased back to life. Therefore you
really have no right to suggest that the perpetrator be given a pass in the name
of "forgiveness."I recommend you do some serious soul
People need to be held accountable for their actions. I don't care what his
excuse is it is not valid, Someone is dead. We all need to be less self
absorbed, our society is paying the price for selfishness everywhere. We must
start drawing a line in the sand so selfishness and ego have no payoff. There is
a spiritual reason for all of this but what is important is what happens here in
the physical world. Let's enforce the laws on the books and let this deters
others in making these same senseless mistakes.
I am just stupefied at that situation. I can only hope this person goes to
prison for doing something that nasty. People give of their time and love to
coach young people, I use to coach little league baseball, parents got so vile I
moved the game to the afternoon when most were working. I tried to tell them not
to criticize the boys, sadly they kept going. Its bad enough when a young man
strikes out or makes a bad play, they don't need to hear it from the
parents. I hope each of you will act in goodness and if you see anyone acting up
mention something to them about it. this tradgedy should of never happened, and
the excuse I didn't think I hit him that hard is hardly plausible.