A disturbing incident unfolded in Southern California when a youth football game devolved into a massive brawl involving the parents of both teams, eventually requiring police officers in riot gear to break up the fight.
As first reported by the San Bernadino Sun, and followed upon by the Associated Press and other outlets, a Junior All-American football game at Chino, California’s Ayala Park served as the site of a massive brawl between “dozens” of parents from the two competing teams. The fighting among the parents (and notably not among the players themselves) led to the intervention of a large group of Chino police officers, who put on their full riot gear when walking on to the field to protect themselves from the brawling parents.
"We only had our helmets on for our protection because when you get a call of a fight between two and three hundred people, you want to be protected," Chino police Sargeant Frank Mena told the Sun.
The reference to 200-300 people was apparently sparked by the initial calls in to police, which cited that number of parents brawling at a game involving a team from Alhambra, Calif.
Mena gave no indication that many parents were fighting at Ayala Park, though he did note that there were fully hundreds of parents on hand at the event, which drew teams from Alhambra, Bell Gardens and Huntington Park. It remains unknown which team the Alhambra squad was competing against when police were called, but the parents of the two squads clearly didn’t like each other.
The Sun reported that no arrests were made related to the brawl. Even more incredibly, apparently no serious injuries were caused by the fight, with Mena and his department noting that the brawl dispersed shortly after the officers walked on to the field.
Of course, it is disturbing that the fight occurred at all, with parents choosing to fight one another in the midst of the holiday season. Beyond simply setting a bad example, the brawl could have led to some parents spending parts of the holidays in jail.
Luckily for everyone involved that didn’t happen. Hopefully the fight won’t even happen in the future.