NASHVILLE — A top Tennessee state representative yelled at a game official and attempted to pull his pants down during a high school basketball match Tuesday night, an incident he later called “completely stupid” in a statement.
Rep. Jeremy Faison acknowledged he was “bad wrong” and hoped to apologize to the official for losing his temper. The game was recorded live on Facebook by Johnson City’s Providence Academy, which was hosting Lakeway Christian Academy.
“For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent loses their temper at a sporting event. It’s not Christian and it’s not mature and it’s embarrassing to the child have always been my thoughts,” Faison, the state House Republican Caucus chair, wrote on his official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
“Unfortunately, I acted the fool tonight and lost my temper on a ref. I was wanting him to fight me. Totally lost my junk and got booted from the from the gym. I’ve never really lost my temper for all to see, but I did tonight and it was completely stupid of me. Emotions getting in the way of rational thoughts are never good. I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong.”
Game official Paul Pendleton later filed a report with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, which is standard procedure following incidents at games.
Tempers flared with seconds to go in the third quarter, when a scuffle over a loose ball led to a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct levied on each team. Video of the game shows Faison sitting in the stands before making his way to the court as referees attempted to break up the two teams. The TSSAA report said Pendleton told Faison to leave the gym.
Faison began to walk away before turning and pointing his finger at an official.
“You can’t tell me to leave the floor, this was your fault,” Faison said to Pendleton, according to the report, before bending down to tug at Pendleton’s left pant leg. Pendleton’s report said Faison tried to jerk his pants “down and off.”
Shouts are heard in the gym as Faison walks away, with someone calling for a police officer.
The report states Pendleton asked a game administrator to call the police, but police ultimately weren’t called and Faison left “without further incident,” according to the report.
Faison could not be reached by telephone for additional comment by mid-afternoon Wednesday.
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