Controversy erupted online as New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard JJ Redick was ejected for seemingly passing the ball to one of the referees in last night’s game against the Celtics.
Many users took to social media to call the referee “sensitive” and “soft” for his decision to assign a technical foul to Redick, with many more being upset that such a “soft” call was made in the 4th quarter of a competitive game. Redick, who had a technical foul earlier in the game, was mandatorily ejected upon receiving his 2nd.
Here’s why the referee is in the right: JJ threw a hard(ish) bounce pass to an unsuspecting referee.
If you look at the footage, the referee was not anticipating that pass from JJ. Moreover, you can definitely tell that JJ threw that ball with some frustration. Now as much as we would all like to be able to chuck the ball at the referee from time-to-time, it can still be a technical foul to throw a hard pass to an unsuspecting referee.
The referee was just operating off the information he had in that moment. He made a call based off the fact that 1) the ball was hastily thrown at his feet and 2) he wasn’t anticipating the pass in the first place. That’s a technical foul any day of the week.
It’s a commonplace technical foul that has made headlines because it was JJ’s second and ultimately led to his ejection. It’s unfortunate to see someone ejected for something so silly, but the rule remains: 2 technical fouls and you’re outta there.