FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOVETHEREFS.ORG Launches in Honor of Slain Soccer Referee Ricardo Portillo
Salt Lake City – 24 May 2013 – Shocked and saddened by the tragic and violent death of soccer referee Ricardo Portillo, 1LAW® continues its longstanding support of all Utahns, including its friends and neighbors in the Hispanic community, by rallying support for the Portillo family, and to help bring an end to sports-related violence.
LOVETHEREFS.ORG was created to remind fans around the world that sports are about the passion, not aggression. Whether it’s taking place on the field or in the stands, violent behavior by fans or players is a threat to all organized sports, and belittles the principles of sportsmanship and camaraderie on which these games were founded.
The LOVETHEREFS.ORG campaign kicks off Saturday, May 25th at 5 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium, 9256 S. State Street, Sandy, Utah.
Utah’s own Major League Soccer team, Real Salt Lake, in conjunction with LOVETHEREFS.ORG and 1LAW® will be honoring the family of Ricardo Portillo in a special tribute and fundraiser during the match against the Chicago Fire.
T-Shirts and charity wristbands will be available starting at the pre-game Carnival Real and throughout the stadium and Team Store.
Ricardo Portillo, a referee for La Liga Continental de Futbol, a youth soccer league in Salt Lake City, passed away on May 4th, 2013 from injuries sustained after a player struck Portillo in the head following a penalty call at an April 27 match.
Mr. Portillo’s tragic passing is only the most recent in a long series of violent outbursts against sporting officials. LOVETHEREFS.ORG aims to bring awareness to this unconscionable trend.
“We love the Portillo’s, they’re like family to some of our 1LAW® associates. We hope that LOVETHEREFS.ORG can help turn this horrible tragedy into a somewhat sobering message and catalyst for real change on the field,” said Jason Velez, 1LAW® Founder.
“We hope everyone will remember the passion of sports and separate that from violent aggression. The rules of the game and the officials who enforce them help everyone win. Without Refs, we’d have no major leagues, no stadiums, no Friday nights under the lights or hot dogs and peanuts at the ballpark with the kids. In order to win, we must have enforceable rules. It’s really a lesson for life.”
LOVETHEREFS.ORG invites all sports fans and the community-at-large to support this wonderful family and join in this campaign. Visit the LOVETHEREFS.ORG to make a donation, get a T-shirt or wristband, and learn how to implement the LOVE THE REFS initiative in your own local sports communities.
311 S STATE ST #380
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111