Officials have brawled with teenage basketball players during a fiery brawl in an youth league basketball match in America.
The incident occurred at an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) game near Atlanta, between Chicago’s R.A.W. Athletics team and the Houston Raptors.
In vision that quickly went viral, at least three young players can be seen attacking an official while he’s lying down on the court, apparently after he called a controversial technical foul of the Chicago team.
The scuffle seems to subside as other officials drag their colleague away from the group of young men, however the angry ref soon restarts the brawl as he takes down a member of the R.A.W. Athletics team.
All hell then broke loose as players threw punches at the angry ref, with the brawl spilling over to the sidelines, where stunned onlookers were filming the incident.
The referee can later be seen getting beaten on the ground, before players are dragged away from the scuffle.
While the young players clearly escalated the incident, R.A.W. Athletics coach Howard Martin said the official started the incident by attacking his players.
“A ref actually walked up on one of our players and attacked him,” Martin said in a tweet he has since deleted.
“Everyone tried to break it all up, then the ref’s father (who was working a game on a different court) ran over to our court and rushed our guys. Everyone in the gym, the other team and the directors saw everything.”
The head coach of the opposing team, Bobby Benjamin, had a different take on the incident, saying Martin and his team started the brawl.
“The referee definitely didn’t attack the kids,” Benjamin told ESPN.
“Absolutely not. Once things got going, and he was attacked … he got assaulted. They were too outnumbered to even try to defend themselves.
“Their players started fighting amongst each other and they were arguing with their coach.
“That’s when I knew it was about to get bad. I figured if they’re going to fight with each other, they might be willing to fight anybody.”
According to the organiser of the tournament, Josh Miley, police officers arrived on the scene soon after to contain the incident, with a full investigation now underway.