National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts is standing by her man.
The recently-installed executive director of the players’ union spurned the referees’ union’s condemnation of Chris Paul, the president of the players’ union, for questioning whether a female referee belonged on the hardwood. The point guard called the official’s decision to give him a technical foul in the team’s Thursday night loss to Cleveland “terrible” and said an NBA court “might not be for her.”
“The NBRA has carefully reviewed the calls made by Lauren Holtkamp and deems them fully justified,” National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA) general counsel Lee Seham maintained in a statement issued by the group. “Furthermore, the NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. She belongs.”
The NBA has employed three female referees, two of whom currently officiate games. Paul’s harsh words for Lauren Holtkamp for her harsh punishment of his team has prompted charges of sexism.
Chris Paul @CP3 is a competitor & he had an opinion, I don’t think it had anything to do with the refs gender.
— Becky Hammon (@BeckyHammon) February 6, 2015
NBA ref Lauren Holtkamp taking absolutely none of the Clippers’ crap in the second half. #CavsClippers
— Phil Sprague (@Phildoc2) February 6, 2015
NBA players better learn lesson from CP3: when you’re dealing with Lauren Holtkamp it’s “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am”. #manners
— Unnamed Spud (@redskin_potato) February 6, 2015
— Sports Depot (@wwwsportsdepot) February 7, 2015
Roberts, who noted Paul’s influence in hiring her and his reliance on a female-led management team, countered: “Any suggestion that Chris Paul would ever conduct himself in a disrespectful manner towards women is utterly ridiculous, outrageous and patently false.”