Refs Need Love Too began as a joke. I recorded a TikTok of my wife (not a referee) dressed up for Halloween (as a referee) and I was quizzing her on AR flag signals. For some strange reason, it went viral. It has had almost 2 million views! She couldn't figure out what a 45 degree angle was for throw-ins. ;->
After that, I started posting videos for fun. 1 each day. Funny one liner comebacks (that I would never say on the field), rule interpretations, etc... Then I started getting feedback from young refs who have suffered verbal and physical abuse. Racist remarks. Even basic questions about positioning, how to deal with coaches, etc... This channel quickly became much more than a joke. It began to have significant meaning to 1000's of people around the world.
99% of the time, there are no referee mentors at the field. Their friends and parents don't know how to help them. 1000's of refs are quitting every year, in part, because we don't have a proper coaching, mentoring and support system at the Grassroots level. No one sticks up for them and encourages them when they need it.
My channel has become a source of inspiration, training, education and even comic relief for those who choose to pick up a whistle. It is a lonely life we lead on the pitch. This brand seeks to send out love, encouragement and support to those who rarely receive it... referees.
Every single week, another person reaches out to me to say that I am the reason they are becoming a referee. Or that I have changed how they view referees as a player or a coach. It may not be much, but I am helping to make the game we love a better play for everyone on and around the pitch.