When it rains, it pours. According to MMA Weekly, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has suspended Keith Jardine indefinitely for a lack of “sportmanship,” or more specifically shoving a referee. Jardine’s manager, John Madrid, however explains it was all a misunderstanding. Jardine simply mistook a ref for an unruly fan.
“What happened, when Keith got through the crowd area, he was stopped and somebody was pulling on his shirt, out of reaction Keith pushed the guy to get him off and it happened to be (a Texas official),” explained John Madrid, Jardine’s manager.
“There were no commission people or any security or anything to escort Keith out to the cage, and the TV guys are saying we gotta go. The crowd was really tight knit walking out, people reaching over the barriers grabbing at him and wanting to touch him,” Madrid recounted.
“He’s standing there … he’s being grabbed, he turns around in instinct and pushes the guy back, thinking its an over aggressive fan, but it happens to be (a Texas official).
“He’s very apologetic to that. (But) the only part that the commission saw was Keith pushing the commission guy.”
I don’t know Keith Jardine personally, but he seems like one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, which is why I can’t imagine this being anything other than an accident. And assuming that’s the case, that it was merely a misunderstanding, this is definitely one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in recent memory. Apparently, a complaint was filed and hearing will be held so Jardine can give them his side of the story — a process that could take weeks or months. For something that should easily be resolved with a simple apology and a handshake, that’s a complete waste of everyone’s time if you ask me. Someone got pushed in a crowded area… what’s the big deal?
Update: MiddleEasy found video of Jardine shoving the official.
You tell me, does that warrant a suspension?
Update: The ref who Jardine pushed comments on the incident:
“I think he was zoning,” said Armstrong, who has been a referee in Texas for five years, but has been around martial arts since 1973. “He was fixing to fight a big fight. I was trying to stop him, and he smirked and pushed me. I said, ‘You push me again, you’re DQ’d.’ Then he patted my shoulder like he realized what was going on. I think he got caught in the moment.”
“They saw it,” said Armstrong. “I don’t know if I would’ve even brought it up. But the commissioner and assistant commissioner were sitting 10 feet away so they were watching the whole thing. They asked me why he pushed me. I said, ‘I don’t know.’ And I really don’t know. It wasn’t something I did, that’s for sure.”
“He’s got a lot of fights, he should know better,” he said. “There’s no excuse but I didn’t want to see him get suspended indefinitely. I just wanted to know, ‘Hey, do you have a mouthpiece and a cup on?’ In every fight that’s checked, so this is nothing new to Keith. We’re always going to look at your gloves and do those checks. That’s all very standard, going through that checkpoint.”