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Tuesday April 17, 2007 4:55 pm

Joey Crawford Suspended After Embarrasing Display




Posted by Milo Taibi Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB, NBA, News,

Joey Crawford
NBA referee Joey Crawford got the tables turned on him tuesday. He was suspended indefinitely by NBA commissioner Tuesday for giving San Antonio Spur Tim Duncan an uncalled for second technical foul on Sunday night during a loss to the Denver Nuggets. After being given a first technical foul Sunday night laughing about an arguable call, Duncan was given a second technical foul by referee Crawford after he was seen laughing again on the bench after another arguable call by Crawford.

What was seen by the audience on television was Crawford visibly angry and ejecting TD from the game. However Duncan claims that Crawford challenged Tim to a fight right there on the spot.

“He looked at me and said, ‘Do you want to fight? Do you want to fight? If he wants to fight, we can fight. I don’t have any problem with him, but we can do it if he wants to. I have no reason why in the middle of a game he would yell at me, ‘Do you want to fight?”

A surprising aspect of the suspension is Crawford’s background as an NBA referee. He has officiated in more NBA playoff games than any other active NBA referee. He’s reffed more than 2000 NBA regular season games, and 252 playoff games. He is currently in his 29th season with the NBA.

This could be a vital first step in taking games back from the referees. Simply put athletic events should be run by the athletes, that’s who the fans pay their hard earned money to see, not the officials of the game. By trying to take control of the game officials can only add to the ensuing chaos. MLB umpires have been told to dish out more warnings and ejections for pitchers who hit batters for retaliation. For example, Orlando Hernandez of the New York Mets was wrongfully ejected in a game last Saturday against the Washington Nationals for hitting the opposing pitcher Shawn Hill right after Hernandez had given up a homerun to Chris Snelling. By ejecting El Duque from the game much attention was added to the game, while if Hernandez had been allowed to stay in the game Hill may have hit a Mets batter to protect his offense and that would be the end of it.

This situation with Crawford is slightly more different though. Umpire Mike Winters who ejected El Duque probably did that because all umpire’s have been told to try to avoid the bench clearing brawl. However Crawford ejected Duncan because he felt Tim was showing him up, and there is absolutely no excuse for that kind of conduct. Hopefully sports officials will take this as a warning and leave the games back to the athletes.

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