After shocking video was taken of a ref being body slammed by someone on the field of an Albuquerque YAFL game, parents of the players are speaking out, saying there’s a lot more to this story.
This weekend, some Albuquerque families didn’t gather on a field, where they usually do. Rather, the families of the Rio Grande Ravens gathered around a table at a local restaurant to discuss the future of the team.
“They are one of the top teams and for them to get cut short, we beat top teams and became a top team,” says parent Derick Ortiz.
Earlier this week, the Ravens were banned from the league after video went viral of a YAFL referee being body slammed at a Rio Grande-Atrisco Heritage game.
“Aw man, all of us are crushed. The kids are just devastated,” Ortiz says.
These parents say there is much more to the story, including what happened before the camera started rolling. They claim tensions were high with the ref before the game even started and that they asked for a replacement. But YAFL reportedly told them they were short staffed.
“I felt like that if we would have gotten a commissioner out there this whole event could have been prevented,” says parent Kenisha Reyes.
Parents say things escalated when the ref threw a flag on a coach. Then players tried to diffuse a tense situation.
They say one player got in between and then was touched by the ref.
“I just know he laid his hands on him, I’m not sure if its a push, a slap, a punch,” Reyes says.
That moment apparently lit a fire in the person who tackled the ref, but these parents say that man is not a team parent.
“That’s not someone who is one of our parents… never seen that person before in the last five years we’ve been on this team,” Reyes says.
They do not condone what he did and now, they just want their kids back on the field.
YAFL, they claim, has denied the appeal.
KRQE News 13 reached out to YAFL to see if the referee faces any sort of punishment, but did not hear back. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office did respond to the fight and is investigating.