JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A high-ranking Republican lawmaker in Tennessee was ejected from a high school basketball game after apparently trying to pull down a referee’s pants in a caught-on-video altercation.
State Rep. Jeremy Faison issued a public apology Tuesday night, admitting that he “acted the fool” and “was wanting him to fight me.”
It happened during Providence Academy’s home game in Johnson City against Lakeway Christian Academy, the school Faison’s son attends.
Immediately prior to the confrontation, the video shows players jostling for a loose ball before referees separate them. Two players, one from each team, are assessed technical fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct. That’s when Faison takes the court.
According to a report from the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, when Faison was told to leave the court, he became hostile and said, “You can’t tell me to leave the floor, this was your fault.”
The report states that Faison then grabbed one of the referee’s pants in an attempt to pull them down. The attempt was unsuccessful.
Since 2019, Faison has been the House caucus chairman for Republicans, who have supermajorities in both legislative chambers. The GOP caucus chairman is among the most influential position in the House.
“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 [sic] 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. I hope to be able to find the ref and ask for his forgiveness. I was bad wrong.”
WJHL reached out to Faison but had not received a response as of publishing time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.