Bethlehem Mayor Ejected from Wrestling Tournament

Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan was ejected from the District 11 wrestling tournament Saturday, according to a report on lehighvalleylive.com.

Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan was ejected from the District 11 Class AAA wrestling tournament Saturday after a disputed call against a Freedom High School wrestler, according to a report on lehighvalleylive.com.

He was asked to leave by a referee, the report said. “I voiced my displeasure I think in a very respectful way,” he is quoted as saying. “I think the referee was a little oversensitive."

Callahan is a candidate for Northampton County executive. His son is a Freedom High School wrestler, the report said.

It wouldn't be the first time a fan -- or an elected official -- got ejected from a sporting event.

* Former Portland, Ore., mayoral candidate and state representative Jefferson Smith was ejected from a basketball game and soccer match in 2011 after altercations with opponents, according to a report in the Williamette Weekly.

* A Modesto, Calif., city councilwoman was ejected from her daughter's soccer game in 2004 for allegedly using foul language while questioning a referee's decisions, according to a report in SoccerAmericaDaily.

Brandon February 24, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Haha that's great. I'm on Callahan's side. Ref's sometimes make the most ridiculous calls. If it wasn't a crappy call, there wouldn't be a situation. Duh
phylliss ward February 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Knowing Mayor Callahan from years back, I will side with him. Maybe the ref didn't want to acknowledge that the Mayor was right and not comfortable with him watching the match. One does not know, but to eject someone because they disagree in a nice manner is ridiculous.
monitorarms in long beach, ca February 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM
I applaud Callahan. The referee should not of evicted him unless he was threatening. That's the job of the officers working OT in the gym. Sheesh, I should of been tossed out numerous times if this is the case when I lived in the Valley. Hopefully the referee finally got his 15 minutes of fame. :)
Staberdearth February 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Ok. Let us hear from a few wrestling fans who were actually there and close to Callahan as this was unfolding. We have already heard from his politi sycophants above who WERE NOT THERE!
Hugh Gallagher February 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Todays Morning Call article gives a 2-sided (not 1 sided) view of the incident. They took the time to seek comment from the ref.
John February 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM
I am not from the area, and I certainly wasn't at the tournament, however, I have been a high school and collegiate official f a number of years. I can say that I have heard it all, even from moms. Most referees, especially in tournaments have 2 per mat. Regardless of a call, a decision must be rendered on the spot. The fact that a Mayor of a city was tossed isn't surprising, as most politicians believe that their status carries over into high school sports. Same with "ex-champions". It's unfortunate that a community leader goes so far to be ejected, whether justified or not. Two points come to mind....was the athlete a teammate or a child of the Mayor, or is this a re-election year, and realizing this could make moderate media coverage is a plus! Regardless, most refs are wrong 50% of the time....much like most politicians.
Nazaretti February 25, 2013 at 12:31 PM
During a match, the ref's word is law. Callahan should appreciate this, and should teach youngsters to honor it. I'm glad he got booted.
Patriot2 February 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Now the Mayor knows how his constituents feel when he makes all his bad decisions in City Hall and the voice of the citizens are ignored. Reminiscent of Council meetings in Bethlehem where things are done despite the passionate pleas of the community.
Staberdearth February 25, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Again, it would be good to hear from someone who was actually there and close up when this all occurred.
Staberdearth February 25, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Or the tough meeting issues are pushed off until the wee hours of the late evening hoping that the air is taken out of the issue and the constituents all have gone home...because they have real jobs to get to the next day.
Jim Reighty February 25, 2013 at 04:27 PM
This was much to do about nothing. I was there. Callahan was sitting about 10 rows up in Memorial Gym, where the stands are pretty far from the action. I was about 2 rows behind him, and about 15 or 20 seats to the side. The match was between a Freedom kid, and Liberty kid. The Freedom kid was not his son. I saw the Mayor come in, I know who he is, but don't know him, maybe 20 or 30 minutes before this happened. He was there earlier, but left. He came in with who I assume was his wife. I saw Eric Evans was there, too. They were sitting close. (I think Evans son wrestles for Freedom, too). The match was the second last one of the evening. It was a close match, and the referee called the Freedom kid for stalling. (prior to the stalling call, liberty fans were yelling for a stalling call---and it was pretty loud). Once the staling call was issued, Freedom fans booed and yelled that it was a bad call. (Note, I had no horse in the race, I am just a fan of wrestling...the call was close and could have gone either way). Callahan yelled, just like everyone else was yelling. I think he said "that was a terrible call ref, just horrible". The match ended, then the ref talked to some other refs(2 or 3 guys), and walked over and told Callahan he had to leave, and John got his coat and started to leave. John left peacefully, and said out loud that the ref must have rabbit ears. Not sure why others were not tossed. Seems to me he was singled out.
Ron Beitler February 25, 2013 at 04:36 PM
debbie February 25, 2013 at 04:44 PM
most refs are on a power trip...
Staberdearth February 25, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Thank you!
Kim February 25, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Really Debbie? That is your generalized comment! I have 4 kids and they all were/are involved in sports. I have been frustrated on plenty of occasions, but always when the call DIDN'T go my way. Overall, my experience is that most refs are fair and try to call a good game. No one is perfect, but to claim that most are on a power trip is outrageous. As Jim stated, the call could have gone either way. Was the ref supposed to clear the stands or make an example out of one parent. I say he made the right call!
Staberdearth February 25, 2013 at 06:11 PM
I tend to agree. I do not know of any refs in my experience that have acted like they were on a power trip. That type of personality or motivation simply does not make it to the level of a formally trained referee! His peers would eliminate him long before that occurs! Debbie has some sort of axe to grind...
debbie February 25, 2013 at 06:27 PM
I agree
Christopher February 25, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Deb, you're the first "Deb" I have ever met in my life. If I applied your generalizations of refs toward people named "Deb" I should say all people named Deb are idiots. Hopefully the father of your children provide a better example to follow.
debbie February 25, 2013 at 07:40 PM
I can say what i feel just as u have. Its not about me...its about refs...so if you want to challenge me and continue this attack on my judgments we can go and u can look stupid too...so carry on I love a challenge!! I'm not your ordinary woman...so lets go if you want to go. I personally think its a female male attack going on here...u know women do get into wrestling cages today, and women race, women box, women wrestle and so on....etc...so I do believe u need to drop the subject.
Rich February 25, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Do mayor get special considerations. Watch his attitude and action at the ref.
debbie February 25, 2013 at 07:59 PM
ha ha the joke is on u...my adult son is a very well rounded young adult and probably makes more money than you will ever make, and my marriage is probably longer than you have been alive on this earth. You have no idea...keep your personal attacks to yourself, because you don't have a clue...I think you should stick to refs.
Candace Weiss February 25, 2013 at 08:50 PM
If you're not from the area and were not at the tournament, why are you commenting on this story?
debbie February 25, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I asked nicely for everyone to stop. Its not about it being anyones page. I don't have to teach him anything hes an adult...I suggest you stop and get into the kitchen to take care of your family u must have better things to do than argue with me.
Nazaretti February 26, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Congratulations to Callahan for manning up and apologizing: In an email, Callahan said he should have handled "the incident better no matter how I felt about the calls made during the match" and said he respects that the referee, Dennis Buchman, has "the right to call the match the way he sees it." As I said before, during a match the ref's word is law.
Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 02:00 PM
I am thinking that when you are the mayor, you should realize that you need to be WAY under the radar. THere are lots of other fans who can let the ref know. I realize that it is human nature to react....but when you are a public figure you need to always be "on" in public and realize that you are the example of great citizen and should treat others the way you want them to treat YOU, when you do MANY MANY things that others do not like and find wrong. Lack of self control in public, makes one wonder to what extent there is much self control in private.
Staberdearth February 27, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Excellent point...


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