Parents kick and punch each other as massive brawl breaks at girls softball tournament
Some parents are seen punching, kicking and tackling each other while the girl players look on in horror
A softball tournament turned ugly when a brawl erupted between parents with more than half a dozen adults rolling around on the ground exchanging punches and kicks. The altercation took place in the city of Kingsport, Tennessee, between parents and fans of two North Carolina girls teams.
The Kingsport Times-News reported that the brawl on Saturday led to both teams being disqualified from the 12 and under tournament. Fortunately, in the aftermath of the fight, there were no arrests or injuries reported, Kingsport Police Department said.
Todd McLemore of Kingsport's Parks and Recreation Department said that the fight started after a verbal confrontation between two sets of spectators which led to one of the individuals being pushed.
"The Cardinals had won a game prior to this fight and they were supposed to play the winner of Blue Ridge and (another team)," McLemore said. "Apparently some spectators were very vocal towards the umpire calls in favor of Blue Ridge and it just got louder and louder."
Some of the red-shirts believed that the umpire was being too favorable to Blue Ridge, according to city and tournament officials. In a conversation with The Washington Post, USA Softball membership director John Miller said, “I think one of the parents popped off."
“And it just got louder and louder,” city athletics program coordinator Tod McLemore told the Times-News. While the girls did not engage in the argument, they were screaming as loud as the adults.
“I like to yell and scream, but I do my best to scream positive things for the kids,” Kingsport resident Lesli Hicks told WJHL afterward. “Well, I’m just thankful to hear it wasn’t parents from our area.”
Having said that, residents of Kingsport were clearly not impressed. “I just think it wasn’t very appropriate,” a woman told WJHL after Sayer’s Facebook video went viral, resonating USA football's sentiments.
“It’s unsportsmanlike,” Miller told The Post. “The girls didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “It’s the parents or those people there for the teams.”
Spectators are seen punching and kicking each other as others tackle each other to the ground, in the footage that emerged after the incident. A gaggle of parents is seen rolling around on the side of a hill near the field as onlookers stood to the side. The cellphone footage lasts 54 seconds and concludes with both sides just milling around.
The two teams, namely East Wilkes Cardinals and the Blue Ridge Explosion, were barred from future events, according to USA Softball, which sponsored the said event, and tournament director Tina Gale.