Youth basketball game descends into ugly brawl with punches thrown between players and referees

Just a week after an ugly brawl in FIBA World Cup qualifiers between the Philippines and Australia, another one broke out at an amateur game in a suburb in Atlanta. This one, however, was between players and referees, rather than players from both sides. Chicago's R.A.W. Athletics were facing the Houston Raptors on Sunday when the brawl occurred.

Doug Jones shared a few videos on Twitter of the brawl, and they're certainly ugly.

That clip shows the onset of the brawl, with the official being knocked to the ground and hopping back up ready to fight. Another clip, however, shows a young official on the ground taking blows from a player before the player is blindsided by another official into the bleachers.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the cause of the fight isn't clear, but R.A.W. coach Howard Martin defended his players on a tweet that was subsequently deleted.

"A ref actually walked up on one of our players and attacked him," Martin wrote, per The Times. "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."  

When the older official comes onto the court, the scrum does die down for a moment before re-escalating.

"One of my players, he had words with the referee. I think he was complaining about a call or something," Martin said, per WSB-TV. ""The player was walking back toward the bench and the referee pushed the player and they squared up.

WSB-TV, reported that Raptors coach Bobby Benjamin saw a player bump an official, but wasn't clear on what instigated the fight.

The officials' management released a statement on the incident, saying that "We are disappointed in the incident that occurred this morning at The Association basketball tournament and are taking the appropriate action with authorities. Behavior like this by any party will not be tolerated."

AAU Basketball, however, distanced itself from the event, saying that the tournament was not AAU sanctioned.

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