A referee in Chesapeake is banned from future games after he made comments about a 10-year-old girl's hair during a game.
A longtime referee is banned from officiating in the City of Chesapeake. The decision came after the referee made some questionable decisions and actions over the weekend.
According to witnesses, the referee singled out a young girl during a basketball game. He apparently picked on her for the color and texture of her hair.
Erica Guerrier is the coach of her daughter's team. She says that when she saw the referee walking towards her during the game she thought he was going to ask how long a timeout would be.
"He asked to speak to me and then he mentioned that one of the players, when she goes to the next level, she is going to have to do something about her hair," she said
The player the referee was talking about turned out to be her 10-year-old daughter. The little girl's hair was styled in a typical African American hairstyle consisting of braids with blue woven into them.
The referee insisted that her hairstyle was against the rules. However, the clever mother immediately called him out saying there was no rule about hair in the rule book.
"The Chesapeake official came and they had my daughter come over and he pointed to, I guess the point where her natural hair meets the hair that was braided in and said he didn't know what that was, and I said that's her natural hair. Just to get to the bottom of what are you talking about? There is no such rule, so why are you bringing this up in front of this girl that her only love is just to play basketball?" she said.
Guerrier's daughter has been playing basketball for ages. She practices almost five days a week and has competed without problems until now.
Thus, Guerrier was completely shocked that the referee made a spectacle of her hair. According to the Virginia High School League, hair is addressed in the rules but only specifies rubber claws and elastic bands and does not address hair weaves.
Executive Director Billy Haun revealed that if there are safety concerns then a referee can prohibit players from playing. He added that this rule is open to interpretation however, he doesn't approve of the public nature in which the concerns about the young girl's hair were handled.
"If there were concerns about that young lady's hair, that's a conversation you have with a coach and with a player, and in this case as young as this player was, you have the conversation with the parent before the game starts, but not during the game. Somewhere private. That's not something you do on the floor, during the game, before the game or after the game." said Executive Director Billy Haun.
The City of Chesapeake contracted the referee from the Hampton Roads Basketball Association. The association's commissioner, Rick Ennis, revealed that the incident is under investigation and being "taken very seriously," before adding that for not the referee won't be allowed to officiate games in Chesapeake.
Chesapeake seems to be running into numerous problems recently. Earlier this week an angry father called out a school in the city as well as a student at his son's school for an incident he is calling a "hate crime."
A classroom fight took a terrifying turn at Grassfield High School in Chesapeake in December. According to an angry father, a student at the school used racial slurs and tied a rope around his son's neck and Chesapeake Police only charged the accused student with simple assault and battery. However, the victim's father is pushing to have the incident classified as a hate crime.