“Razor” Ray Chamberlain was at his theatrical best as he laid down the law on Friday night — but not everyone found the show entertaining.
The famous footy umpire took exception to Roarke Smith’s reaction during Port Adelaide’s thrilling two-point win over the Western Bulldogs and made sure the Dogs star knew exactly who was in charge.
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Late in the second quarter, Chamberlain stopped play and gave the Power a free kick because of what came out of Smith’s mouth.
“Free kick here, Port Adelaide — abuse,” Chamberlain said as he explained the reasoning behind his decision not to hand the Bulldogs a free kick for holding the ball seconds earlier.
“No prior opportunity, legally tackled, attempted to handball — play on.
“Do not speak to me like that.”
The game was being played at an empty Marvel Stadium because of Covid-19 restrictions and Channel 7 commentator Brian Taylor cheekily suggested Chamberlain was enjoying being the centre of attention — a tag that’s followed the umpire for much of his career.
“That is Roarke Smith getting a real dressing down from Ray, who I think is liking the fact that there’s not a lot of noise here tonight,” Taylor said. “You’ve gotta love it.
“It was clear, concise and it was correct, most importantly.”
Richmond legend Matthew Richardson added: “He’ll have a detention next, Roarke Smith.”
James Brayshaw then chimed in. “I remember a few teachers speaking to me that exact same way,” he said.
Not everyone loved Chamberlain’s performance on Friday night though. Melbourne radio host Adam White tweeted during the game: “Ray doesn’t like the way he gets spoken to by the players out on the field often. But it goes both ways. While umpires should always be respected, the condescending way he speaks to the players doesn’t help the situation.
“I’m not condoning any sort of abuse or disrespect for any umpire. That’s unacceptable. But Ray assists in creating an unnecessary atmosphere by talking down to players in a tense environment. You can work with the players and still have complete control. Respect goes both ways.”
Cricket writer Daniel Brettig replied by implying Chamberlain was an attention-seeker. “He has tried to be a celeb. He isn’t a player. Pretty simple,” Brettig tweeted.