City Sports Report

The Reactions To Chris Paul’s Comments Are Going Overboard

chris paul in the locker room

The Los Angeles Clippers are struggling as a team. They recently lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night and the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. It seems like the high hopes the team had are looking like faint stars far away in the night at this point. But along with the struggles, the Clippers have lost a little bit of their cool. Nothing exemplifies that more than the comments from Clippers point guard Chris Paul after the game Thursday night. During the game the Clippers were given five technical fouls and Paul himself was given a flagrant foul in the game. As a result, he criticized the officiating and in particular a situation with female referee Lauren Holtkamp. Paul got a technical in the third quarter in which he felt he did nothing to warrant the technical. He would go on to say that the call was ridiculous and that if this was the case, this, meaning being a referee in the NBA, might not be for her. Immediately people began to come at Paul and criticize his comments, but not in the way some may think.

Chris Paul is one of the most respected players in the NBA. He is one of the top point guards out there and he is also the head of the NBA Players Association. When he stated his comments about the referee, many felt he had stepped over the line and that his comments were sexist. But in all actuality, that was not the case at all. Sure, Paul was frustrated and sure he should not have let that spill over to the media, but in no way were his comments sexist at all. He addressed her like any other referee whom he felt played a part in some of the technical fouls in the game. And for that, he will probably get fined by the NBA. But he will get fined for criticizing the referees in the public and not for the comments he had towards Holtkamp because she was a female referee. Simply put, the idea that this was a comment directed at Holtkamp due to her being a female referee is a little overboard. When you interview a star player of a team that is floundering right now, you may get a reaction out of anger like the one Paul exhibited. His comments had everything to do with frustration of his team, their losing and some calls rather than the gender of who made the calls.

If Paul was against female referees, then many may want to examine Paul and his relationship with Violet Palmer since she has been in the NBA. Palmer came to the NBA in 1997 along with Dee Kantner as the first female referees in the NBA. And as it stands right now, she is still hanging in there, doing a good job. In fact, she has been in the NBA refereeing games for so long that her being a woman is no longer even thought about. In her history of being in the NBA, Chris Paul has not had any issues with her at all. Charles Barkley had an issue with her when she first came to the NBA, but he eventually came back to say that he was wrong about Palmer and that Palmer “was alright with me”. Palmer is closing in on 20 years in the NBA and she is still hanging in there. If Chris Paul had issues with women being referees, don’t you think he would have said something about her already? Which leads one to believe that this situation is not one that even really needs to be talked about much at all.

It seems to me that this scenario is one that has been blown way out of proportion. San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon and NBA Players Association executive director Michelle Roberts both voiced their support for Paul in the aftermath of his comments. They realize that these comments from Paul were not meant to single out a female referee, but to voice his displeasure of the calls that were made in the game. Could Paul have handled the situation better? Without question that is correct. But to suggest that he was singling her out due to being a female is going overboard.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

One Comment

  1. Lee Love

    February 14, 2015 at 12:28 am

    There was too much made of the comments Paul commented on officiating not gender but with social media being what it is the comments were blown out of proportion.

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