(Not going to lie, I’m going to start this article off by contradicting myself.)
NBA refs can make us pull our hair out in frustration from time to time. Whether it’s questionable calls, lack of logic, or just plain stupidity; refs can be the bane of existence for a basketball fan.
Having said that, they are the official, and they should be treated as such. A player should ALWAYS show respect and should NEVER put their hands on an official.
But, as shown by the Shaun Livingston ejection against the Heat, this is not the case.
For those who missed it, Shaun Livingston went up for a shot just outside the paint yesterday against the Miami Heat; being contested by Tyler Johnson. Livingston felt that he was hacked by Johnson on the shot, which caused him to verbally erupt at referee Courtney Kirkland.
After some words were exchanged and the two “headbutted” each other, the altercation ended with Kirkland tossing Livingston from the game.
But, now a day later, the NBA has decided to suspend Livingston for a game, and Kirkland for a week; (both starting Monday).
Now they both deserved to be suspended. However, the suspensions don’t fit the crimes.
Why does Livingston get only a game, but Kirkland gets a week?
If anything, they should both get just one game and be done with it.
But, with all the whining and crying of the players, this has basically become a league run by the players. We are catering to their feelings and needs, more than just holding onto to the things that matter.
Such as respect for authority!
Giving a ref a much harsher suspension than a player is NOT respect for authority. Giving referee Courtney Kirkland a harsher suspension is basically saying to refs; “Hey, you might be an authority figure in this league, but you are lower on the totem pole than the players.”
But we’re not holding players accountable for their actions. They’re being coddled in order to increase the NBA’s bottom line. We’ll suspend a player ONE GAME for touching an official, just to get him back playing. But with a referee, they won’t be as lenient.
But I want to hear your thoughts now. Did Courtney Kirkland deserve a week suspension? Let your voice be heard in the comments below, or on one of Weekly Sports World’s various social media pages.
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