Chris Paul said his criticism of female official had nothing to do with gender

Chris Paul tries to clarify his criticism of referee Lauren Holtkamp

Chris Paul clarified his criticism of female referee Lauren Holtkamp on Friday before the Clippers played the Toronto Raptors, saying that his comments had nothing to do with her gender.

"You know, last night was about a bad call," he said, "that's all."

Paul is under heat for his comments about Holtkamp following a technical he received during Thursday's 105-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was given the technical in the third quarter after the Clippers tried to quickly inbound the ball after a Cavaliers free throw.

"We're trying to get the ball out fast every time down the court and when we did that she said, 'Uh-uh,' and I said, 'Why uh-uh?' and she gave me a tech and that's ridiculous," the Clippers point guard said. "If that's the case, then this might not be for her."

Holtkamp, 34, is in her first full season as an NBA referee and is one of two active female officials. Some questioned whether Paul's comments were sexist.

"Like I said, last night was about a bad call, that's it," Paul reiterated.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he didn't approve of Paul's remarks, but he said there were no sexist undertones behind them. 

"I just think he was upset at the technical," Rivers said. "I don't think the technical was warranted either, to be honest, but that's not a gender issue. That's an issue that you disagree with the tech."

When Paul was asked whether he was surprised by the reaction his comments received, he repeated himself again.

"Like I said, last night was about a bad call," he said.

The union representing NBA referees defended Holtkamp on Friday.

"The NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul," said Lee Seham, general counsel of the National Basketball Referees Assn. "She belongs."





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