A youth basketball referee was attacked by a group of basketball players during a game inside a church facility. The incident happened at Stronghold Christian Church in Lithonia, Georgia, and a video shows multiple players from one of the teams going after the referee, according to TMZ Sports. The players chased after the guy in the striped shirt, who began to defend himself. But due to the number of players involved in the attack, the referee was brutally beaten.
According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, the referee suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital. The church pastor released a statement that said: "It is truly unfortunate about the turn of events that took place during the basketball game held at our facility this weekend. While we cannot control people, it is our hope and prayer that those who enter our facility will conduct themselves in the best manner."
Y'all these bad ahh kids got off on the referee 😐 Why the other refs ain't help tho pic.twitter.com/FGXhxqFDer— NoPauseTv (@NoPauseTv) April 4, 2022
Former pro basketball player Parris Cherry is a youth basketball developmental coach and described what he saw after watching the video. "The referee appears outnumbered from the very start," Cherry said. "I was appalled. It was a very scary video. To see the adults instigate and then the kids follow up to the point where it was the kids who chased down the referee at the end of the video, it's just disgusting. And it seems like there wasn't any adult trying to break it up."
The video of the attack went viral and social media had a lot to say. One person said, "This is embarrassing as all hell. 8th grade aau game we had something similar happen with the team we were playing there coach legit took his belt off going at the ref."
Another person wrote: "This is horrible. I don't know what the answer is but we must do better than this. And it is not just basketball or football. It happens in hockey and baseball too. Why would anyone want to referee a youth sporting event?" WSB-TV said the incident happened during an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball game. An AAU representative said it was not a sanctioned AAU game and the organization had nothing to do with the game or the attack.