Ref blamed for inciting basketball brawl

The coach of a youth basketball team from Chicago says it’s the referee’s fault that a fight broke out at a tournament in Georgia against a team from Houston.

“The player was walking back toward the bench, the referee pushed the player, and they squared up,” coach Howard Martin tells an Atlanta TV station.

That led to this:

“I’m not condoning anything that happened, anything my players did,” Martin said. “But at the end of the day, as a man, you’ve got to be a little bit wiser.”

The Chicago team was tossed from the tournament. The Houston team went to the championship game and lost by two points.

(h/t: Paul Tosto)

  • Barton

    YOU NEVER TOUCH THE REF!!! EVER!

    And we really cannot see what happened to start it. If the player walked into the ref then he was obstructing the ref’s view and he should have been moved. When I reffed (waayyyy back in the day), I’d often push players/adjust their angle out of my way that back-pedaled into me while I was watching the play going on. You never touch the ref.

    And there is never an excuse to start a brawl.

    • Jared

      While that advice makes sense, at 10 seconds it looks like the ref is running up to the kid in a boxing stance while the kid backs away and then the ref throws a punch right as someone on the bench pushes him over. When original ref finally gets back up the other refs appear to be holding him back more than anything as he’s running around and swinging his arms. We obviously can’t see everything but that’s totally inappropriate and seems well beyond moving players aside. Eject the player and move on, ref shouldn’t be escalating things.

    • Laurie K.

      You also never touch a kid. Ever. Regardless of what started the brawl, the ref is clearly seen throwing a punch at a kid, then going back for more…