Top Tennessee Lawmaker Apologizes After Trying To 'Pants' Referee

By Sarah Tate

January 6, 2022

Photo: Tennessee General Assembly/Getty Images

A top Tennessee lawmaker has apologized after receiving backlash for reportedly attempting to "pants" a referee during a high school basketball game.

State Rep. Jeremy Faison, chairman of the House Republican Caucus, was ejected from the game at Providence Academy in Johnson City on Tuesday (January 4) after confrontation with a referee ended with Faison's apparent feigned or failed attempt at pulling down the official's pants, FOX 17 reports.

The incident was caught on video, which can be seen below. In the video, Rep. Faison can reportedly be seen yelling at a referee court-side after a play before he makes a move to tug on the referee's pant leg. According to a report by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, Faison was told to leave the court but pointed a finger in his face and said, "You can't tell me to leave the floor this was your fault."

After the attempting pantsing incident, Faison took to social media to post an apology, saying he "acted the fool" and wanted to make things right.

"For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent looses [sic] 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," he said. "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 gym]. I've never really lost my temper but I did tonight and it was completely stupid of me."

"Emotions getting in the way of rational thoughts are never good," he continued. "I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong."

It is unclear if the Tennessee General Assembly will reprimand Faison, but fellow lawmakers have shared their thoughts on the incident, including State Rep. Gloria Johnson who said, "'Pantsing' a ref on the gym floor is next level bullying ... not even the stuff of middle school locker rooms."

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