Fan Attacks Youth Hoops Referee But Didn’t Know Who He Was Dealing With And Gets Speared

An argument between a parent and referee fighting at a youth basketball game at SportONE Parkview Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana has gone viral.

What Led To A Parent Confronting An Official?

The incident initially started as an argument as the parent was allegedly complaining about foul calls. After speaking to the referee, the parent was asked to leave the game. As the verbal argument continues to escalate the parent gets into the referee’s face and starts swinging.

The referee eventually spear tackled the parent to the ground, where they got tangled up near the bleachers.

According to a witness at the scene, the parent was eventually escorted out of the venue, and did not return.

TMZ reports no police officers were called to the scene.

The video was posted to Twitter by Jeff Lytle, who wrote:

“Right here in Fort Wayne Indiana. Why is it ok to attack a official? When is it going to stop? This is why we don’t have officials!”

According to Lytle, the incident occurred during an eighth-grade boys’ basketball game between Team Robinson 2027-PINK and the Blue Water Hurricanes, which lost the Game 78-7. 

The spectator who approached the referee reportedly was a parent of a child on the Blue Water Hurricanes team.

Justin Shippy, the secretary and treasurer for the Northeastern Indiana Athletic Officials Association, told WANE 15 that the official in the video is part of their organization.

“We’re talking eighth grade basketball here. We’re not talking about the national championship that we watched on CBS here a few months ago,” said Shippy.

“The way things have been nowadays with fans, behavior, and sportsmanship, it’s not surprising. I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and it’s just, I want to say within the last six to eight years, it has traditionally become worse, and it’s hard for us as veterans to recruit newer officials because of instances that you happened to see there this past weekend. A lot of the officials don’t want to get involved, which I don’t blame them.”

Yes, we are talking eighth grade basketball. But whether it’s the NBA Finals or eighth grade basketball, this type of behavior should not be tolerated, period.

Violence Perpetrated By Adults In Youth Sports Is An Epidemic

Violence over foul calls at a kids game. This is where we are as a society. To say we’ve gotten or devolved to this point over time, would be inaccurate. This is who this society and nation has always been.

You believe you’ve been wronged or feel aggrieved over something you believe went unfairly and your recourse is to commit violence. Not have a conversation or begin civil discourse. Literally go and attack the party you believe wronged you. It’s inhumane and criminal.

If you feel an official is cheating your child or child’s team all of these leagues have avenues through which you can file complaints or bring to the attention of someone that can do something.

But to resort to violence is completely unhinged.

Eventually all of this is going to lead to the cancelling of games and leagues across youth sports as a whole. The only people who suffer there, of course, are the kids. But clearly the parents and adults who engage in this type of behavior don’t care about the kids.

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