GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (KDVR) — Video obtained by Problem Solvers shows a referee attacking two players at the Greenwood Village Fitness Center during a Thursday night basketball game.
The referee was seen pushing one player and then hitting another, with one of the men involved saying the punch hurt his eye.
A police report has been filed since the incident at PickUp USA Fitness.
“As an official, you want everything to be about the game and not about you or anyone else,” said veteran youth basketball referee Michael Wilder.
For five years, Wilder has been a referee for youth academic and club level leagues.
“This video, there’s not a lot of control in that aspect of the matter, and that’s what the officers do, primarily to control the situation,” Wilder said.
After the incident, relatives of one of the men involved told Problem Solvers they filed a report against the referee with Greenwood Village police.
Problem Solvers requested a copy of the report but heard nothing from investigators.
Wilder said the primary responsibility of any official is to remain neutral in any play.
“For that official to go from a neutral emotional state to a high emotional state,” Wilder said, “that shouldn’t happen because you’re not a player on the field, your job is to control.”
Wilder said each referee is under real-time scrutiny, which can affect your mood, but referees have to rely on professionalism and the cooperation of their partners in striped shirts.
“It also comes back to your partners and your staff,” Wilder said. “The partners around him should also have more control over the situation.”
The general manager of the Greenwood Village Fitness Center told Problem Solvers that the referee was a paid employee of the gym and that the referee, who was caught on camera, was fired after the incident.