Ball’s sex­ist bul­ly­ing not sur­pris­ing

Lat­est episode tar­gets fe­male ref

The Signal - - SPORTS - Chris­tine Bren­nan cbren­nan@us­ato­ USA TO­DAY Sports FOL­LOW COLUM­NIST CHRIS­TINE BREN­NAN @cbren­nans­ports for com­men­tary and in­sight on sports.

It will come as a sur­prise to ab­so­lutely no one that the ridicu­lous LaVar Ball has once again made a fool of him­self and a mock­ery of the val­ues we hope our kids learn from sports.

What did the over­bear­ing bas­ket­ball fa­ther do this time?

Coach­ing a team of teenage boys at an AAU tour­na­ment in Las Ve­gas on Fri­day morn­ing, he had a fe­male ref­eree re­placed midgame af­ter he was called for a tech­ni­cal, later go­ing on a sex­ist rant about the woman.

Even with a new male ref­eree brought in, how­ever, Ball earned an­other tech­ni­cal and was ejected, but, Ball be­ing Ball, he re­fused to leave. So the new ref­eree de­cided to end the game right then and there, which Ball’s team was los­ing 53-43, declar­ing the op­pos­ing team the win­ner.

This tour­na­ment is run by Adi­das, and its or­ga­niz­ers told ESPN that it was their de­ci­sion to cave to Ball’s im­ma­ture de­mands and re­place the ref­eree.

What an aw­ful mes­sage they sent to the boys play­ing. In­stead of stand­ing up to the bully, who was threat­en­ing to pull his team off the court, they spine­lessly ac­ceded to his sex­ist wishes.

And what did the or­ga­niz­ers get for their trou­ble? Ball threw an­other fit later on, and the game was called early any­way.

Adi­das or­ga­niz­ers, you just got played.

Af­ter the game, spot­ting peo­ple with their phones ready to video­tape him, Ball launched into a de­spi­ca­ble tirade against the woman who was do­ing her job ref­er­ee­ing youth sports. “She’s got a vendetta be­cause she’s a woman that is try­ing to break into the ref­er­ee­ing thing, but giv­ing techs and call­ing fouls, that’s no way to do it,” he said.

There was more: “She ain’t ready for this. … She ain’t good enough. She ain’t got enough on her ré­sumé. I can tell.”

He also ut­tered a sen­tence any­one who has fol­lowed Ball’s pa­thetic path to no­to­ri­ety had to know was com­ing.

“She needs to stay in her lane be­cause she ain’t ready for this.”

There it was. There was his sig­na­ture line, telling yet an­other woman to “stay in her lane.”

In May, dur­ing a tele­vised con­ver­sa­tion about Ball’s line of $495 sneak­ers, Fox Sports’ Kris­tine Leahy asked him a ques­tion: How many pairs of those shoes have been sold?

Ball’s re­ply to a sports an­nouncer who hap­pened to be a woman? “Stay in your lane.”

I think he meant to say, “Very few.”

This should be un­ac­cept­able be­hav­ior for any per­son in this coun­try in 2017. (I know, I know.) It cer­tainly should be un­ac­cept­able for a com­pany such as Adi­das, which, by the way, is try­ing to sell shoes to mil­lions of fe­male ath­letes, too.

But, for an­other day, the bas­ket­ball world, led by Adi­das, let a man who rep­re­sents the worst of its sport get away with what­ever he wants to get away with. Shame on them.


At an AAU game Fri­day, LaVar Ball de­manded a fe­male ref­eree be re­placed then re­fused to leave af­ter be­ing ejected.

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