Controversy swirls following Adidas’ response to LaVar Balls’ antics towards a female referee during an Adidas Uprising Summer Championships’ game on Friday. According to an earlier report by ESPN, a female referee was removed by Adidas’ officials after LaVar Ball threatened to remove his team from the court.
According to LaVar Ball, the female referee had a “vendetta” and was attempting to make a name for herself in the referee world. He believed she was giving unwarranted techs and fouls. After he received what he considered to be an unwarranted technical foul, he threatened to remove his team from the game if the female referee was not replaced with someone else.
Adidas’ officials took roughly 10 minutes to discuss LaVar’s request before ultimately deciding to remove and replace the female referee as requested. It was the combination of Adidas’ decision to give LaVar want he wanted and the fact that she was replaced with a male referee that lit the controversial fire.
Yahoo Sports notes social media quickly lit up with angry fans who did not appreciate the way LaVar Ball or Adidas’ officials handled the situation. On Sunday morning, the National Basketball Referees Association posted several tweets regarding their disgust towards LaVar’s antics and Adidas’ response.
In the cluster of tweets, the National Basketball Referees Association referred to the situation as “appalling.” The association proceeded to slam LaVar for both intimidation and misogyny. The association also slammed Adidas’ officials for not responding to the situation better.
A separate report by ESPN reveals Ball has no second thoughts about the comments he made regarding the female referee or his threat to remove his team if she was not removed from her position first. LaVar claimed his comments had nothing to do with the fact that she was a female referee and would have gone down the same way if the referee had been male.
“You guys are trying to make it like a gender thing. It’s not that.”
LaVar proceeded to note that he had no issues with a female referee as long as she was good at her job.
CBS Sports reports the company responsible for providing the referees for the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships has decided to end their relationship with Adidas following the controversy. Court Club Elite believes Adidas’ officials could have handled the situation better. They do not think the female referee should have been removed from the game. In an official statement, the Court Club Elite notes the actions of LaVar Ball and Adidas “shall not and will not be accepted.”
“Adidas and their leadership acted in a manner that does not parallel our views on integrity or professionalism, and neither should be compromised as they were in this situation.”
Court Club Elite also noted Adidas’ response to LaVar “sent a clear message” that integrity was not one of their top priorities.
Sound off in the comments regarding how you feel about LaVar Balls’ antics and Adidas’ response.
[Featured Image by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]