Sterling, VA – A pick-up basketball game at a gym in Northern Virginia turned ugly on Monday when a player called the police after he got fouled during the game.
The incident occurred at LA Fitness in Sterling when one of the basketball players got “hard-fouled” and left the court to go to the front desk to call police and report it, according to a series of posts from Twitter user @_togs who originally tweeted the picture of the incident.
He described the foul as a result of an “an aggressive screen.”
In basketball, a screen is when the player dribbling the ball runs toward a teammate who is standing still. The dribbler’s defender is generally watching the player dribbling the ball and running with him, and may not be aware he’s about to run full speed into the dribbler’s teammate standing still.
“Today for the first time in my life...I experienced someone call the police because they got fouled hard in basketball,” @_togs tweeted along with a picture of an officer talking to a group of players near the lobby door of the gym.
The tweet, posted early on Monday evening, had been liked almost 90,000 times, and retweeted 33,000 times, by early Wednesday afternoon.
When police arrived, both men were removed from the gym “like it was an elementary school fight,” @_togs tweeted.
He told WTTG-TV that the man who called police was a regular at the gym who has played basketball there on numerous occasions.
“No punches were thrown. Nothing,” he said. “It wasn’t malicious. No hits to the face or anything like that.”
The man who called police was blocked by an opposing player – the man in the tattoo sleeves at center in the picture – and landed on the floor. He got up and announced he was going to call police, WTTG reported.
"I thought he was joking," @_togs told WTTG. "I thought he was being extra."
He said the rest of the players just kept playing the game as if nothing had happened.
“Everyone kept playing. That’s what’s so bizarre about the whole situation -- like why did it have to be that serious?” he told WTTG.
He said he didn’t think there was a deeper issue behind the call to police.
“You could tell it was strictly basketball," the man said. "There were no racial undertones or anything like that."
The Washington Post said the police incident report revealed that both men had admitted to fouling each other in the game at the LA Fitness, and both declined to file a report.
LA Fitness management then gave both players a chance to have a “civil” game or risk having access to the gym for the remainder of the day revoked.
Another gym member captured the tail end of the incident on a video that he shared on @_togs thread about it.
In the video, he asked the officer if he had ever been called to the scene of a basketball game.
“That’s my first basketball foul,” the police officer said. He said he’d been dispatched to a call for a fight when he responded to the gym.