The company that supplies officials for Adidas ended its relationship with the shoe giant after the latest LaVar Ball dustup.
The company that provided officials for the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships, where LaVar Ball successfully petitioned for a female referee to be ousted after she hit him with a technical foul Friday, will end its five-year long relationship with the apparel company in result of the incident. This, reported by ESPN.
“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,” Court Club Elite, an organization that trains and develops referees at amateur and professional levels, said in its statement 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.”
Friday morning, LaVar Ball threatened to pull his son, premier recruit LaMelo Ball, and the rest of his Big Baller Brand AAU team from the floor after he was assigned a tech by a female official. That was the same official who gave him a technical foul in a game Wednesday. Ball screamed for Adidas officials to have her removed from the game.
Earlier, ESPN reported that Adidas pressured Court Club Elite to “put three officials on the game who will keep Ball in the building” due to his drawing power and Adidas’ interest in Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, his oldest son. Friday, ESPN reported Court Club Elite had planned an all-female officiating crew for Big Baller Brand’s Friday night game in a show of solidarity for the replaced female official, per a source. However, a “compromise” for two females and one male on the crew then inexplicably became one female official on the crew by tipoff.
Ball also claimed that the female ref from Friday’s game was out of shape, not qualified to officiate and desperate to make a name off him. He then claimed that she had acted as if she had something to prove as one of few female officials for the tournament.
Ball later stated that he had no regrets about his statements and denied that gender played any role in his actions.