Company providing refs for summer events ends relationship with Adidas over LaVar Ball

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
3 Comments

The company that provides referees to the Adidas Uprising Summer Championship in Las Vegas last week has opted to cut ties with the billion-dollar shoe company over the way that they handled a situation involving LaVar Ball and his Big Ballers team.

Ball was given a technical foul by a female official early on in a game on Thursday, and his response was to threaten to pull his team from the court unless the female official was removed from the game. Adidas opted to remove the official, and Ball would later rant to reporters that the woman was not ready to handle that level of a game and that she was more interested in proving she could stand up to Ball than officiate the game fairly.

“The events that led to the removal of a female official on Friday are something that shall not and will not be accepted within the officiating community,” read a statement from Court Club Elite that was provided to ESPN. “Adidas and their leadership acted in a manner that does not parallel our views on integrity or professionalism, and neither should be compromised as they were in this situation. It was clear that the actions of the official in enforcing and addressing unsporting behavior were defendable and fitting of the behavior displayed; however, the agenda and lack of courage to do the right thing by Adidas leadership sent a clear message that the game and those chosen to protect the integrity were not of priority.”

The woman who was removed from the game has not been identified. She is a Division I official on the women’s side of the game.

“This appalling story about the female referee removed during an AAU game warrants serious discussion,” the National Basketball Referees Association, the union that represents NBA officials, tweeted on Sunday. “First, the misogynistic comments and intimidation by the coach have no place in basketball or anywhere. The actions by Adidas show what happens when an organization does not support those tasked with protecting the integrity of the game. We support the referee community. This offensive behavior cannot stand [and] hurts all those involved in basketball.”