In a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Clippers point guard Chris Paul criticized Lauren Holtkamp, female NBA referee games after she called a technical foul on him during Thursday night’s game.
In the post-game interview, Paul expressed his issue with Holtkamp’s calls and commented that refereeing in the NBA ‘might not be for her.’
I think we have to show better composure, but at the same time some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous,” Paul said. “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.”
Paul’s comment created massive backlash, leading many to call his comments sexist. The sexism claims are from people interpreting ‘this might not be for her’ to mean Holtkamp shouldn’t referee because she’s a woman.
Paul and other teammates claim their criticism of Holtkamp had nothing to do with her gender –but with the calls she made on the court.
ESPN reports that The Clippers were unhappy with her calls in Thursday night’s game and previous calls she made in a game against the Miami Heat.
The NBA Referees Association responded to Paul via Twitter with the hashtag #shebelongs:
After review, the calls made by Ms. Holtkamp are fully justified. We deplore the unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. #shebelongs
— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) February 6, 2015
Check out the footage of the call below:
What do you think? Was Paul’s comment sexist?