Paul’s Comments Stir Up Controversy

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On Feb. 5, Quicken Loans Arena was the place to be. The Cleveland Cavaliers controlled the game against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers until the fourth quarter when the Clippers outscored the Cavaliers 31-11. The Cavaliers held down their lead and ended up winning 105-94.

While the Clippers had an impressive run in the fourth quarter, the real story here is the response to a technical that was called in the third quarter.

First year official Lauren Holtkamp gave 8-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul a technical foul that he did not seem to agree with. When the call happened it was clear Paul and Holtkamp had a conflict of interest but it’s what Paul said in an interview after the game that is causing drama on the call.

ESPN.com published Paul’s comment on their website.

“Some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous,” Paul said. “The tech that I get right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody says. I don’t care what she says; that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh.’ I said, ‘Why, uh-uh?’ And she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.”

Emotions are stirring from not only female athletes but also from men who consider this to have been a sexist comment.

Although the remark made by Paul may have been offensive, it is easy to question if he knew what he was saying at the time, or if he was just responding in the heat of the moment.

Cal Lutheran’s Athletic Director and Head Men’s Soccer Coach Dan Kuntz gave his reaction to what Paul said in an email interview.

“In my opinion, Chris Paul intended exactly what he said. As a professional athlete he knows well that whether an official is female or male, dissent is not acceptable and will result in some form of sanction.  In this case, Chris Paul dissented and continued to dissent with the official while addressing her in a disparaging way, insinuating that simply because she is female she wasn’t up to officiating an NBA men’s basketball game. He deserved the fine and technical,” Kuntz said.

There tends to be lot of responsibility for professional athletes that are in the limelight such as Paul. Many youth and even adults look to these people as role models, and what they say can affect their fans’ views on subjects such as a women’s place in the sports world.

Kuntz also commented on the seriousness of athletes being in the public eye.

“Sports mirror many societal situations with human drama,” Kuntz said. “Sports evoke emotions that can bring out the best and worst in people.  It is my sincere wish that more of the good things in sports find their way to the forefront of our awareness and that all athletes, especially those that are professionals, show the positive way.”

The topic of equality for women in the sports world, though unfortunate, is a constant conversation amongst athletes as well as spectators.

Junior guard on the Regals basketball team, Chelsea Jacoby, knows about how women can often be looked down upon in the sport of basketball.

“I definitely feel like I’ve been treated like less of an athlete because I am a woman, because even when I say I play women’s basketball people are always saying it’s boring or saying it’s a slower pace because men are more athletic,” Jacoby said. “I feel that women don’t get credit for doing the same things that men do at the same levels. I’ve never had any personal attacks on me, but I have seen it.”

Heather Tomaszewski
Staff Writer
Published February 18th, 2015