Refs won’t get flagged for pink whistles

High-school football referees who used pink whistles in Seattle-area games last week to raise awareness for breast-cancer research will not face any sanctions from the Washington Officials Association.

Todd Stordahl, WOA commissioner, said it was never the organization’s intent to penalize individual officials, who are members of the Pacific Northwest Football Officials Association.

“The whole thing has been blown so far out of proportion,” he said Monday.

Stordahl said the WOA’s issue was that the PNFOA did not follow proper procedure in electing to change from the standard black whistles, considered part of the uniform.

The WOA has already had a “blue flags” football weekend in support of prostate-cancer awareness and has “pink whistle” events in volleyball, soccer and basketball. So the organization had decided against “pink whistle” football games, in part to keep the focus on the players and games, Stordahl said.

That decision was printed in the Oct. 18 WOA newsletter. But the PNFOA, one of 150 associations under the WOA umbrella, already had its “pink whistle” event planned. Officials also donated their game checks to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

—The Seattle Times

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