It pains me greatly that I have to write another post about a referee brother who we’ve lost to senseless tragedy.
By all accounts John Bieniewicz, a referee affiliated to Michigan Soccer, was a great person and referee whose life was cut short due to on field violence.
Rather than repeating what has been said elsewhere, I’ll refer you to media reports about John and the terrible incident that took his life:
Detroit Free Press: http://www.freep.com/article/20140701/NEWS02/307010110/Soccer-referee-dies-Livonia
CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-michigan-referee-punched-during-soccer-game-dies/
To honor John, Michigan Soccer has asked referees, players, supporters and all who love the world’s greatest game to change their social media avatars and profile photos to a version of the USSF Referee badge with a black stripe. You can download a version pre-formatted for Facebook (and will work on other social media as well) directly from iTOOTR, by clicking here.
My plan is to keep this as my profile photo at least until the John’s funeral service. I’m also asking everyone who posts about John and this tragedy to include the hashtag #RespectForJohnB which echoes FIFA’s “Respect” campaign.
Finally, if you would like to contribute to a memorial fund that has been established for John’s children, you can do so by clicking here. (Please note that iTOOTR has not researched the memorial fund and cannot say how the funds will be used)
One response to “Respect for John Bieniewicz”
John was a fantastic person and referee. The black mourning band is worn by my Law Enforcement Brothers and Sisters to honor the fallen. Traditionally it is worn until after the funeral service for the fallen. It is fitting that we keep this until after his funeral!!!! Thank you for posting this.