Yesterday a series of videos went viral on Twitter when a man posted a clip of a brawl between basketball players and the referees at an AAU basketball tournament. The video has grossed over a million views on numerous different platforms.
The saddest part about this video is this isn’t the first sports brawl to go viral this summer. It is becoming an increasingly larger problem. Who is going to want to officiate any type of game knowing that they may get assaulted while trying to do their job?
Now, if you read the articles online or watch the videos, there is plenty of blame to go around. The referee should have kept his calm and tried to defuse the situation. But, the bigger issue is that this type of behavior was ever allowed in the first place.
Leagues and tournaments need to take a stand against this type of behavior. Every league and tournament in the country should have a code of conduct for players and coaches and there should be strong repercussions for all violations. Sports officials are underpaid and most certainly do not receive the amount of respect they deserve.
At Silbo, we are dedicated to improving the overall experience for sports officials. With this in mind, we are constantly developing fan conduct policies and anti-harassment policies. We hope in the future to help each league we work with to create a safe space for officials to do their jobs. Join us in this stand by messaging us on Facebook or commenting on our page. Let’s get this discussion going, it’s time.