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Youth soccer player with Tourette syndrome suspended for cursing at referee


A British soccer league suspended 14-year-old goalkeeper Owen Thompson two games for telling a referee to "f--- off" after a controversial call last month, which, under normal circumstances, wouldn't cause much of an uproar.

But Thompson has Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder which can cause repetitive motor and vocal tics, including uncontrollable sounds and inappropriate words.

"Football often suppresses my ticks, but I cannot control them when I get upset or stressed," Thompson told The Mirror. "He just really stressed me out.”

After the game, Thompson's coach showed the referee Thompson's medical card, which documents his Tourette syndrome. The league determined that Thompson's outburst had nothing to do with his disorder, a decision that Thompson's mom, Melanie Burgess, found "ridiculous."

Thompson's team appealed the punishment and the league eventually reduced his suspension to one game.

Thanks to Prep Rally for the heads up.

 

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