Two teams were disqualified from the Tri-Cities softball tournament, which was being held in Kingsport, Tennessee, after a large group of parents started fighting during the game. Footage of the brawl went viral after a bystander uploaded it to social media.
The video, which lasts just under a minute, shows nearly a dozen adults throwing punches and rolling around on the ground as others try to break up the melee. At one point, some of the young athletes, still wearing their batting helmets, try to intervene and stop their parents from fighting.
USA Softball Tournament Director Tina Gale said that the two teams, the East Wilkes Cardinals and the Blue Ridge Explosion, were disqualified and banned from future tournaments.
“I’ve done this for 10 years and never once had a physical altercation. This was the first and hopefully the last,” Gale said. “We run a very clean organization, we run good tournaments, but unfortunately it happened on our dime and we don’t take things like this lightly. We would never condone that kind of conduct.”
Todd McLemore, who works as the athletic program coordinator for Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Department told the Kingsport Times-News that the fight started after fans of the Explosion became "very vocal towards the umpire calls in favor of Blue Ridge." The upset spectators then started getting into an argument with fans of the Cardinals. During the verbal altercation, one of the parents was shoved down a sloped area, which sparked the brawl.
Police said that nobody was injured and they did not arrest anybody for their role in the melee.