Chris Paul responds to female referee controversy: ‘Last night was about a bad call. That’s all.’


After the Clippers were routed by the Cavaliers Thursday, in a game where L.A. was issued multiple technical fouls on the way to falling behind by as many as 32 points in the third, Chris Paul was very vocal in his criticism of the referees.

Well, one referee in particular. And that’s where the problem got started.

Paul was talking specifically about Lauren Holtkamp, the one who had the quick whistle in issuing him a technical foul. And what many took issue with was the way Paul referenced her gender as part of his post-game remarks.

“I think we’ve got to show better composure, but at the same time some of ‘em was ridiculous,” Paul said. “Like the tech I got right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody say, I don’t care what she say, that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out quick every time down the court and when we did that she said ‘Uh-uh (no)’ and I said ‘Why uh-uh?’ and she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case then this might not be for her.”

I personally don’t believe that Paul was making a derogatory remark here, or insinuating that because Holtkamp is a female, she’s somehow less qualified to referee a professional men’s league. But many others chose to interpret it that way, so Paul was asked about it in advance of Friday night’s contest against the Raptors.

From Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times:

Chris Paul on on the reaction to his reaction to official Lauren Holtkamp’s technical: “Last night was about a bad call. That’s all.”

From Dan Woike of The Orange County Register:

Chris Paul repeated his answer, “Last night was about a bad call” three times, staying loyal to his CP3 brand.

Paul was smart not to engage, here, or provide further fuel for the fire. The Clippers, meanwhile, have a much bigger problem where the referees are concerned.

Doc Rivers said he wanted his players to stop being so demonstrative with the officials just four games into the season. But after multiple games with meltdowns similar to the one we witnessed on Thursday, the issue has done nothing but get worse as the season has gone on.