Fred VanVleet Fined $30K For Officiating Criticism

Fred VanVleet Fined $30K For Officiating Criticism


Fred VanVleet fined 30K says officiating criticism unfortunate

On Wednesday night, Fred VanVleet lashed out at NBA officiating, specifically calling out ref Ben Taylor after Toronto was defeated by the Los Angeles Clippers. He claimed he'd been treated unfairly this season by the crew.

VanVleet is not alone in feeling this way, and the league seems unwilling to accommodate for it.

Ref Ben Taylor

On the eve of an important game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet unleashed a fiery tirade that questioned officiating around the NBA to an extent he normally does not speak about publicly. It was an unprecedented move by any player in this league and one that VanVleet likely will be fined for.

VanVleet launched into an angry tirade against officiating after his team lost by eight points to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, placing his frustration with several officials into the spotlight and placing them under intense scrutiny. Ref Ben Taylor - who assessed VanVleet five technical fouls this season - was particularly targeted during VanVleet's tirade.

VanVleet may have overreacted, but his point was an important one. In essence, the NFL has protected referees so well that they face virtually no consequences for errors they make. This is a serious issue and one which won't go away without intervention from within the league itself.

That problem is compounded by the fact that refs have such an important role in games; they get to decide when and how fouls should be called, plus enforce rules between games. When rules aren't properly adhered to, games may feel more passive and less competitive overall.

This season, there have been an alarming number of calls made at critical moments that have determined the outcome. From LeBron James' Lakers loss to Boston to the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers' overtime loss in overtime, there has been a seemingly never-ending list of bad calls made during high-stakes situations.

No matter the miscall - be it an official calling a defensive foul on a potential shot or an off-balance call - the league doesn't do enough to address these errors that are occurring too frequently. Fans are left wondering why refs are making such poor calls, while players are frustrated at not receiving support behind the scenes.

Refs are an integral part of the game, and when they fail to perform at their best, that needs to be addressed. The NFL is in a good position to address this problem but will require serious leadership from within the league itself.

VanVleet’s response

After Wednesday night's 108-100 loss to the Clippers, VanVleet delivered some sharp criticism of officiating in a postgame press conference. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, VanVleet has been fined $30K for his comments regarding officiating after the game.

VanVleet's criticism of the officiating was unsurprising and came as no surprise to anyone who watched him speak. Nonetheless, he stood firm in his remarks, declaring himself willing to accept whatever fine might come his way.

He lashed out at Taylor specifically, labelling him "fucking terrible." Additionally, the Toronto Raptors star noted that of the eight technical fouls he has received this season, five occurred while Taylor was officiating games.

VanVleet had some issues with the fouls called on him during Wednesday's game, particularly given his own poor shooting performance. In total, VanVleet finished with 13 points (4-12 FG, 3-8 3Pt), four rebounds and nine assists across 39 minutes in a loss to the Clippers.

On Monday night, the Raptors suffered their second consecutive loss - a heartbreaking defeat to the Denver Nuggets. In this one, Toronto was called for 23 fouls while Denver only committed 18.

At some point in the game, Taylor assessed a technical foul to Barnes for questioning the integrity of officials during a timeout. That call proved crucial as Denver eventually secured victory.

VanVleet remains confident in Barnes' contribution to his team despite some criticism this season. Barnes is still averaging 13.7 points per game and shooting 44.7 percent from the field, slightly below his averages during his sophomore year in the NBA.

Recently, his 3-point shooting and playmaking have shown signs of improvement. That could be a promising development for the young talent.

VanVleet has had a tough start to his season, yet still offers second-round value with his scoring and assist numbers. If he can continue shooting over 40% from the field again, VanVleet should remain an attractive fantasy option for teams.

VanVleet’s criticism

On Thursday, the NBA announced that Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet would be fined $30K for his public criticism of officiating during Wednesday night's loss to the Clippers. VanVleet had been given a technical foul for verbally abusing referee Ben Taylor and now faces financial repercussions as a result of his remarks.

VanVleet took issue with the officials for calling him for a technical foul and criticized Taylor's work as an official. Additionally, he took aim at other officials who he felt had made incorrect calls.

He noted that he had been called for a team-high eight technical fouls this season, five of which occurred during games where Taylor was part of the officiating crew. VanVleet expressed concern that some officials may have gone beyond their job description in some instances.

He used several expletives during his tirade, denouncing Taylor as a "f--ing terrible" official with a personal vendetta against him.

VanVleet finished with 13 points, four rebounds and nine assists to lead Toronto to a 108-100 loss to the Clippers, dropping them to 32-35 and ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Though this loss was a devastating setback, the Raptors still have an opportunity to secure a place in the Play-in Tournament. They are currently on a five-game road trip that could provide them with one last shot at qualifying.

The Raptors are targeting two victories out of their next three games before returning home for a series with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Additionally, they hope to achieve back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

The Raptors have lost three out of their last four games and are coming off a disappointing loss at Denver on Monday night. VanVleet struggled from the field, hitting only 4 of 12 shots from the floor and finishing with 13 points. Additionally, he committed six turnovers but managed to dish out nine assists and grab two steals. Unfortunately, his lack of consistency continues to plague them.

VanVleet’s fine

On Thursday night, the NBA fined Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet $30K for his profanity-laced tirade against referees after he lost a game. VanVleet had been given a technical foul against Los Angeles Clippers' Ben Taylor during the third quarter of Wednesday night's 108-100 loss.

VanVleet has been a major target of officiating this season, earning himself eight technical fouls in games officiated by Taylor. Sportsnet Stats records indicate that five out of the past eight games Taylor has officiated this season have resulted in technical fouls for him.

VanVleet expressed his displeasure with the refereeing this year and Taylor in particular for aggravating him. Additionally, he questioned the league's efforts to empower referees and make them more important.

That is an understandable concern and one which should be addressed by the league, players' association and referees' association. Unfortunately, people in professional sports rarely discuss certain situations off-hand; they know there could be consequences for themselves and their families if a certain scenario unfolds.

Sometimes, however, life throws you a curveball that hits you like a ton of bricks. And those are often the moments that inspire us to take risks in public; to let everyone know our displeasure with certain parts of a game or call made by the reffing crew.

VanVleet took a shot at NBA officiating after their loss to Los Angeles, knowing it would be an opportunity to show his disdain for them. And when he unleashed an NSFW bomb at them afterward, it served as yet another chance to show the world what he thought about them.

VanVleet had every right to be frustrated with how the league has empowered referees this season, echoing Celtics guard Marcus Smart who also expressed his annoyance at how important referees have become in recent weeks. But there remains much work to do in order to address this issue which won't go away any time soon.

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