“Does one moment in your life really define who you are?” That’s the question posted by former NFL replacement referee Lance Easley (above, right), who went from anonymous scab to national pariah with one spectacularly blown call last September. In the weeks and months since Easley gifted the Seahawks with an improbable last-second victory, he’s been the recipient of threats from persons who can’t seem to find Roger Goodell’s home address. From the Washington Post’s Kent Babb :
When Easley returned to work, a security guard stood watch for a month. Easley listened to his voice-mail. He heard one man say that he hoped Easley’s family died. There were dozens of them.
When he returned to officiating high-school football games, the feeling had changed. The eyes seemed on him, not the players. During officiating meetings, Easley’s peers whispered and laughed.
So when the time came to sign up this fall to officiate basketball games, Easley stepped aside. He doesn’t know if he’ll return to basketball.
“I don’t want to be a distraction,” Easley says in a Santa Maria gym. “And what if I make another controversial call?”