It's hard not to feel for both parties entangled in this on-ice incident involving a 12-year-old boy and a 22-year-old referee that Canadian hockey parents have managed to make national news.
On the one hand, you have Kainen Bell, a pre-teen member of Sagkeeng First Nation competing in Winnipeg's Southeast Aboriginal Tournament, according to Canada's CBC News (h/t Busted Coverage). He reportedly suffered a broken wrist and a bruised back when the ref dropped him to the ice.
On the other, you have the ref, who apparently was attempting to restrain Bell when the kid slashed a Brokenhead Ojibway Nation player after a whistle. According to the CBC News report, the 12-year-old maintains the ref picked him up and slammed him to the ice, but tournament officials and video of the incident appear to show the 22-year-old accidentally falling on Bell in an attempt to maintain order.
"Do I think the referee purposesly slammed the boy to the ice? Absolutely not," Todd Thornton, who serves as president of the community center, told the news station. "He did what he needed to do to break up the scrum so nothing else would continue and unfortunately ended up on top of the boy."
As for most everyone else, their actions left much to be desired. Parents shooting video can be heard screaming, "Hey, get your hands off our kids," followed by a slew of profanities. An assistant coach for Bell's team reportedly "goes after the referee." And police called to the scene had to restrain several parents involved in a postgame altercation, according to CBC News. Meanwhile, Bell's parents are allegedly considering lawyering up and pursuing criminal charges against the licensed referee.
"I don't want to see any other kids being manhandled like that," the boy's mother, Brenda Bell, told the Canadian news station. "No kid should be grabbed like that."
Then again, no kid should be taking a cheap shot at an opposing player, either.