In Sunday’s Gold Cup win, the U.S.’ Jermaine Jones took a dive in the second half that resulted in Jamaica’s Jermaine Taylor being given a red card.
Was it a bad call by the ref? Of course. But that is part of the game.
We were surprised, though, by the criticism leveled at Jones in the aftermath of the game. Complaining about diving is one aspect of soccer that we don’t understand.
In other sports, gaining an edge is applauded. When Derek Jeter fakes being hit by a pitch, he is “doing what it takes.” When Peyton Manning goes down untouched but gets the ref to throw a flag for roughing the passer, he is praised. When Jason Kidd slows down a quick guard with a well placed forearm or hip, he is a “wily veteran.”
It’s one thing if you are an Italian player falling down every two minutes like A-Rod after being hit by a pitch, but the rest is pure gamesmanship.
At least until the other guy does it, then it’s just plain wrong.
(Photo by Getty Images/mlssoccer.com)