In case you missed it, Beckham kicked not one, but two balls at San Jose midfielder Sam Cronin while Cronin lay on the ground after a collision late in the LA Galaxy’s eventual 4-3 loss to the Earthquakes.
The second kicked ball struck Cronin, and sparked a tussle that marred what had been an exciting and memorable game.
There was no denying that Beckham set out to hit Cronin, having struck him after missing with his first attempt to deliver a laser shot from the sidelines of Stanford Stadium to the six-yard box, where Cronin lay.
It doesn’t take having a psychology degree to know that Beckham was frustrated and lost his cool after watching Galaxy blow another lead just days after his Olympic dreams were dashed when he wasn’t chosen to be a part of the Great Britain Soccer team.
You could see how that might have had Beckham on edge, but that is still no excuse for Beckham’s behavior. That being said, his tantrum may have simply been written off to having a bad week, but the fact is Beckham has let his temper get the best of him before in MLS, and he has almost always gotten away with it.
Ugly tackles that would earn other players red cards? Check. Flagrant verbal abuse of referees that often goes ignored by officials who would be quick to eject other players for similar behavior? Check. Public criticism of referees ignored by a league that has never been shy about fining players and coaches for that very behavior? Check.