A video of a basketball game between Connell and Highland High in Washington went viral on YouTube, and turned number 34 on Connell, Cole Vanderbilt, into the ire of the internet. The video was shot by Michael Christenson, who wanted to show parents that the school needs better officiating. And boy was he right.
The video shows 6 flagrant fouls perpetrated by Vanderbilt and the lack of calls by the referee. While some of the fouls could be attributed simply to a hard playing style, others, specifically number five, shows Vanderbilt essentially body-slamming another player who was driving to the hoop. The only call from the ref? Holding.
People who watched the video took to the comments, spewing hateful comments about Vanderbilt, so much so that the school went into full damage control mode.
[Cole Vanderbilt] a tough kid, but those that know him know he's a teddy bear, Connell coach Oscar Garza told the Tri-City Herald. My 7-year-old son loves him and lights up when he's around. But on (YouTube) he's the world's meanest, ugliest kid. It's not fair, but I just want him to know his teammates and coaches are behind him.