Viral video shows coach attack youth basketball referee in Thousand Oaks

The Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, shown on Feb. 2, 2022, was the site of a videoed altercation between a basketball referee and a youth coach. (KTLA)

A basketball game at the Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks was disrupted when the coach of a youth team appeared to grab a referee by the neck, and a video of the altercation has since gone viral.

The incident, which occurred last weekend, showed the unnamed coach of the Los Angeles-based Cavs Youth Basketball team in a heated confrontation with the referee.

The coach then lunges at the ref and puts his hands around his neck before bystanders intervene.

“Uncalled for. Lack of respect. It all starts with respect,” said referee Steve Peters.

Peters, who has been a referee for 30 years, was not a part of the altercation, but he heard about it before the video went viral.

“We all say we’re here for the kids, but your behavior shows,” Peters said. “What is that teaching the kids when we say sportsmanship?”

The altercation reportedly began when the referee called two technical fouls against the coach, who was fired the next day by the Cavs, the head of the organization told KTLA.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the incident, but they are currently not investigating, as no one has filed a report and the victim has not pressed charges.

“Someone has to be the grownup. Someone has to take the high road, which isn’t always easy, but it’s a part of life,” Peters said.

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