Why NBA demote ref Ben Taylor after Raptors G Fred VanVleet’s viral rant?

Ben Taylor, a young NBA referee with ten seasons of experience, has recently been in the spotlight after Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet’s viral rant criticizing Taylor’s officiating during a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. VanVleet’s comments, which also received support from Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, resulted in a $30K fine for VanVleet.

Referees typically aim to fly under the radar and do their job accurately, and being noticed by fans is usually a sign of a mistake. Thus, VanVleet’s rant likely drew unwelcome attention to Taylor’s officiating abilities.

It remains to be seen how Taylor’s demotion will impact his career going forward. However, it’s clear that NBA referees face intense scrutiny and pressure to perform their jobs fairly and accurately, as any misstep can result in public criticism and discipline from the league.

NBA ref Ben Taylor’s position explained

Following the incident, the NBA appears to have disciplined Taylor by pausing his use as crew chief for his assignments and instead positioning him as “referee 2” in recent games, according to reporter Tom Haberstroh. Haberstroh noted that Taylor was crew chief in 41 out of 52 games this season but has not been crew chief for four out of five recent games.

What did Fred VanVleet say about Ben Taylor?

On March 8, after a 108-100 defeat to the Clippers, VanVleet expressed his dissatisfaction with Taylor in his postgame interview with the media. He also mentioned receiving a technical foul during the game for supposedly encouraging his teammates to continue playing despite the challenging circumstances. VanVleet reportedly said, “Let’s keep playing through the bull—.”

He further stated:  “I mean, I don’t mind. I’ll take a fine. I don’t really care. I thought Ben Taylor was f—— terrible tonight,” VanVleet said, in part. “I thought that on most nights, a couple out of the three [officials], there’s one or two that just f— the game up. … You come out tonight, competing pretty hard. Third quarter I get a bulls— tech, changes the whole dynamic of the game. Changes the whole flow of the game.

“Most of the refs are trying hard, I like a lot of the refs, they’re trying hard, they’re pretty fair, they communicate well. And then you have the other ones who just want to be dicks and it just kind of f— the game up. Nobody’s coming to see that s—, they want to see the players.”

Fred VanVleet has had enough. The Raptor’s point guard didn’t like the way their lost to the Clippers and hadn’t liked the whistle all season, so he let the world know. Do you support what Fred did? Let us know in the comment section.  




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