Lawmaker Tries to Pants Referee at Son's Game

'I was bad wrong,' says Tennessee Rep. Jeremy Faison
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2022 11:16 AM CST

(Newser) – One of Tennessee's most powerful Republican lawmakers has apologized for his "completely stupid" behavior at his son's high school basketball game earlier this week—which included trying to pull down a referee's pants. The attempted pantsing of ref Paul Pendleton happened near the end of the third quarter, when both teams received a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Tennessean reports. According to a report Pendleton filed with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, Rep. Jeremy Faison was ordered to leave the gym at Johnson City's Providence Academy after he came down from the stands and yelled at game officials.

The report states that Faison, whose son was on the visiting Lakeway Christian Academy team, told Pendleton, "You can't tell me to leave the floor, this was your fault," before trying to pull his pants "down and off." According to the TSSAA report, game officials decided against calling police and Faison left "without further incident." Faison, caucus chair in Tennessee's House of Representatives, later tweeted that he had "acted the fool" and was "hoping to be able to make it right," the Guardian reports.

"For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent looses [sic] their temper at a sporting event," Faison wrote. "It's not Christian and it's not mature and it's embarrassing to the child have always been my thoughts." He added: "I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong." Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson tweeted: "As a teacher, seems I recall hearing about 'pantsing' in middle school boys locker rooms. Never heard about it on a gym floor during a game ... from an 'adult.'" Another critic quipped: "Next time I have to go to the state Capitol I'm wearing belt *and* suspenders." (Read more Tennessee stories.)

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