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Tennessee State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R) apologized on Tuesday, declaring that he "acted the fool" en route to being ejected from a high school basketball game.
The 45-year-old lawmaker attended a game on Tuesday between Providence Academy and Lakewood Christian Academy in Johnson City, Tennessee. Providence Academy livestreamed video of the game, which showed Faison arguing with a referee while walking on the court. He pointed at the official's face, then appeared to try to pull down the referee's pants unsuccessfully.
Video of the game has been removed from the school's Facebook feed, but was captured elsewhere on social media.
TN State Rep. Jeremy Faison, House GOP Chair, tried to fight and depants a high school basketball referee.
FAISON: "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 ... I was bad wrong." pic.twitter.com/qlBttjWZsg
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) January 5, 2022
Faison was ejected from the gym.
'I acted the fool tonight'
After the game, he issued his apology on social media, while declaring: "I acted the fool tonight. I'm hoping to make it right."
I acted the fool tonight.
I’m hoping to be able to make it right. pic.twitter.com/W8PINvTue5
— Rep. Jeremy Faison (@JeremyFaison4TN) January 5, 2022
"For years I thought how wrong it is when a parent loses 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.
"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."
Ref filed report with athletic association
The Tennessean reports that the incident prompted the referee to ask for police. According to the report, police ultimately weren't called. The reason why isn't clear. The official filed a report with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, which the Tennessean reports is standard procedure.
According to the TSSAA report acquired by the Tennesseean, Faison walked from the stands to the court after a scuffle on the court prompted the referee to whistle both teams for technical fouls. The referee told Faison to leave the gym, and he initially refused, per the report.
"You can't tell me to leave the floor, this was your fault," Faison reportedly told the referee in response.
The referee declared that Faison then tried to pull his pants "down and off." Faison then left the gym "without further incident," per the report.
Faison hasn't publicly addressed the incident beyond his social media post. He's the Chairman of Tennessee's House Republican Caucus.