Parents chase referee off field at Washington youth football game
Police in Orting, southeast of Tacoma, continue to investigate the incident. According to Q13 News, the referee, who was not named out of concern for his safety, said he was discussing a call with coaches in the third quarter when parents began to surround him on the field. Tensions boiled over and some parents began chasing the referee, who fled from the field, jumped into his car and left.At that time, parents started fighting one another. Video shared with Q13 News shows some parents throwing punches at one another while the young players watch it all from their sidelines.
The Nisqually Junior Football League welcomes players ages 6 to 14. After the incident, it released a statement asking for help identifying three individuals who are shown throwing punches at the referee. It also said it is suspending the Federal Way Titans organization pending further investigation.
From its statement:
The NJFL is deeply saddened and embarrassed at the events that took place Saturday. It is occurring more frequently in youth sports communities and this is simply unacceptable and it will not be tolerated.
The NJFL supports and endorses both of the local youth football officials associations. They should never be in harm’s way to referee a game. We love what they do, we value the relationship we have built with them and at the end of the day, they should NEVER fear for their safety. Without them…there is NO youth football!
Read more from Q13 News.