The Loop

The Loop

This French rugby referee is the best celebration prop since T.O.’s pom poms

January 14, 2021

The age of the celebration prop has come and gone. The sharpie. The flip phone. The popcorn bucket. All resigned to the annals of sports history. Sure, you still get a bat flip or two, but can an instrument of the game really be considered a prop? The panel deliberates in perpetuity. Over in second tier French rugby, however, a select few freedom fighters, led by Nevers’ Josaia Raisuqe, who this weekend hoisted up the match referee like a glimmering, golden trophy, are helping to keep the proud legacies of Ochocinco and Joe Horn alive through selfless sacrifice. Welcome to the resistance, boys.

Truly incredible creativity by Raisque, to say nothing of the raw strength, with the 26-year-old Fijian flicking the ref above his head like a small child at the sound of the final, victorious whistle. Raisque was red-carded for his efforts, but Rome was not built in a day, and nor shall a new empire of lawful object-based celebration be.

If the comments of Raisque’s own coach after the game are any indication, however, this is just the beginning of a long, uphill road to liberation for prop celebrants everywhere.

“It’s intolerable. He’ll be punished by the league’s disciplinary committee.” Xavier Pemeja told Canal + TV after the incident. "I’ll deal with him. I can’t accept it. What happened at the end there it’s going to be very bad."

Needless to say, it could be quite some time before Raisque can continue his battle for celebratory equality, but somewhere out there, T.O., poms poms in hand, is grinning ear to ear.