A top Republican lawmaker in Tennessee is pleading for forgiveness after attempting to pull down a referee’s pants at his son’s school basketball game.
“I was wanting him to fight me,” State Rep. Jeremy Faison said of his bizarre behavior on the court Tuesday night as his son took part in a game between two private Christian schools.
In a statement released on Twitter that same night, Faison acknowledged that he “acted the fool.”
“Totally lost my junk and got booted 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,” he wrote.
He went on to say he knew it was wrong “when a parent loses their temper at a sporting event,” as “it’s not Christian and it’s not mature and it’s embarrassing to the child…”
The incident occurred in the third quarter of the game, after the ref called a technical foul on both teams for unsportsman-like conduct, The Tennessean reports.
Faison walked down to the court and tried to intervene while referees worked to defuse scuffles between both teams, leading game official Paul Pendleton to demand Faison leave the gym.
But Faison instead lashed out at Pendleton, yelling “You can’t tell me to leave the floor, this was your fault!” before suddenly bending down to tug on Pendleton’s pant leg. In a report filed with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, Pendleton said Faison had tried to pull his pants “down and off.”
The incident reportedly ended with Faison walking out as someone yelled for the police to be called, though officers ultimately were not called and no charges were filed.
By Thursday, Faison’s official Facebook page was filled with criticism over the incident, with many piling on the lawmaker for his most recent post, which encouraged people to begin the new year by focusing on positive changes they want to make in themselves.
“So after posting this you decided to ‘change’ into the type of guy who pants a ref at a private school basketball game?” one commenter quipped.