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Referees union criticizes Chris Paul’s ‘personal and unprofessional comments’


While Chris Paul awaits the fine that surely is coming from the NBA for his critical comments about the officiating of rookie female referee Lauren Holtkamp, the union that represents league referees strongly criticized the Los Angeles Clippers star for his comments and staunchly defended Holtkamp’s integrity.

The National Basketball Referees Association accused Paul of making “personal and unprofessional comments” about Holtkamp, 34, who is spending her first year as a full-time NBA referee after serving six years in the NBA Development League.

Further, Lee Seham, general counsel of the NBRA, said in a statement that the union reviewed Holtkamp’s calls and “deems them fully justified,” per an AP report.

“Furthermore,” added Seham in the statement, “the NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. She belongs.”

Paul made his controversial comments following the Clippers’ 105-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night, a game in which Los Angeles was assessed five technical fouls.

“I think we have to show better composure, but at the same time some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous,” Paul fumed after the game, per ESPN Los Angeles’ Arash Markazi. “The tech that I get right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody says, I don’t care what she says; that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh.’ I said, ‘Why, uh-uh?’ And she gave me a tech.

“That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.”

The AP report notes that Paul is the president of the NBA Players Association and it is not uncommon for players to complain about rookie referees. But to do so in such a public manner warrants a fine, as has been the case in the past.

Paul has come under fire for his comments that have been deemed by some as sexist. Paul and other Clippers players reportedly said their criticism of Holtkamp had nothing to do with her gender, only the nature of her calls.

(photo credit: Derick E. Hingle | USA TODAY Sports)