Blake Griffin, power forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, has come under fire for simulating an obscene sexual act with the Clippers courtside trainer during the nationally televised game between the Clippers and the Brooklyn Nets. Griffin, who tallied 24 points and 12 rebounds in just 25 minutes in what ended up being an absolute blowout that saw the Clippers demolish the Nets 123-84, had come out of the game and was sitting on the bench when the Clippers courtside trainer began to work on Griffin’s knee, placing a knee brace on it. While knelt at Griffin’s feet, Griffin put his hand on the back of the trainer’s head and bobbed it toward Griffin’s crotch in an act simulating oral sex.
Griffin’s act was caught on camera via a close up shot during the telecast on cable network TNT, leaving a stunned Kevin Harlan, who was commentating the game, simply to admonish, “No… don’t do that.”
Griffin, who is 25-years-old, had just been named to his fifth straight All-Star game and is regarded not only as one of the top basketball players in the league, but also as a team leader for the Clippers. Fans and detractors have taken to the internet both to defend and to chastise Griffin, with some claiming the act to be nothing more than a good natured, albeit sophomoric, bit or teasing and fun on behalf of Griffin, while others decry the gesture as an act of sexual harassment that would not have been tolerated were the trainer female.
Most, regardless of their outlook on the matter, seem to agree that as the Clippers are playing some of their best basketball and making an early push toward the top of the conference in hopes of staying in the playoff hunt and, less than a year removed from the Donald Sterling debacle that saw the long time Clipper owner forced to sell his team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, that the act demonstrated poor judgement and even a suggested lack of maturity on the part of Griffin, with some fans angered over what amounts to a thoughtless action that could become an unneeded and unwanted distraction, just as the Sterling fiasco is thought to have distracted the Clippers during last season’s playoff push, which resulted in a second round exit to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Griffin’s action comes on the heels of Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade’s $15,000 fine, levied by the league for an obscene gesture Wade made toward the end of third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets, whereby Wade flipped the bird to the Charlotte fans. Some course of action, likely a fine, is expected to be levied against Griffin by the league.