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A referee was chased down and violently attacked at a youth basketball game in Georgia Sunday afternoon, shocking video shows.
Video of the incident shows a group of at least five people confronting the official, who attempts to run away and defend himself from several punches. At one point, the referee takes a swing before he is pulled to the ground, punched and kicked repeatedly by the surrounding crowd, which appeared to include both players and adults.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
A referee holds a basketball under his arm during a timeout
Tarver said the referee is expected to make a full recovery, and he vowed to increase security at future events to make it “safer for the officials.”
He noted that the teams consisted of eight graders, and the team involved in the brawl has been banned from future events.
“The referee appears outnumbered from the very start,” Paris Cherry a former pro basketball player, who is now the youth basketball development coach, told Atlanta’s WSB-TV. “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.”
Basketball going through hoop.
Police were called to the assault on the ref but have not said if those involved face charges.
Dr. Benjamin Gaither, a pastor at Stronghold Church, released a statement on Facebook calling the incident “truly unfortunate.”
“It is truly unfortunate about the turn of events that took place during the basketball game held at our facility this weekend,” Gaither said. “We open our doors to serve our community and our goal is to provide an atmosphere conducive for enjoyment, enrichment, etc.”
“While we can not control people, it is our hope and prayer that those who enter our facility will conduct themselves in the best manner. Our prayers go out to all those involved in this current situation.”
The incident is under investigation.
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