UPDATE: I figured it wasn’t this bad. But this video looks like complete chaos.
And you thought we would never see anything resembling the Malice at the Palace again. In what may turn out to be one of the worst brawls in recent memory, the Georgetown Hoyas left with nine minutes remaining in a tied game with the Bayi Rockets of China for fear of escalating danger. The game was physical right from the start, and with the Olympic Sports Center Stadium’s security doing nothing about it, the violence only worsened as the game neared its finish.
The Washington Post writes:
Georgetown senior center Henry Sims had a chair tossed at him by an unidentified person, and freshman forward Moses Ayegba, who was wearing a brace on his sore right ankle, walked onto the court with a chair in his right hand. According to Georgetown officials, Ayegba had been struck, prompting him to grab a chair in self-defense.
There has to be some type of backstory to all of this because the physical play (Georgetown had 28 fouls by halftime) was going on all game. Both teams had a few physical confrontations earlier in the game, but nothing too far out of the ordinary. Then at some point, Xu Zhonghao, a Rocket forward, went at Georgetown coach John Thompson III for no real apparent reason, “berating” him as the coach stood there shocked, trying to yell coaching to his players.
From there, it all went overboard. Eventually, Georgetown’s Jason Clark and Bayi forward Hu Ke got into it over a tough foul, and players started running onto the court. Punches and chairs were thrown and spectators sent full water bottles careening down at some of the Hoya players. Thompson decided enough was enough:
As Thompson and his staff summoned players together and began escorting them off the court, the group had to dodge plastic water bottles being hurled from the stands. Once they reached the safety of the locker room, the team immediately gathered all its equipment and headed for the buses outside.
Members of the Hoyas staff were trying to find a police escort for the entire Georgetown contingent, including alumni and supporters who attended the game as part of a 10-day tour of China, fearing reprisals from Chinese fans. But rather than wait, Thompson told everyone to walk to the buses together.
Thompson released a statement saying: “Tonight, two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams. We sincerely regret that this situation occurred.
“We remain grateful for the opportunity our student-athletes are having to engage in a sport they love here in China, while strengthening their understanding of a nation we respect and admire at Georgetown University.”
The exhibition was part of a goodwill trip to China that was only halfway finished. Georgetown was scheduled to continue playing in Shanghai, but one has to wonder what happens next.
What do you think?
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