Last week, LaVar Ball threatened to pull his AAU team off the court if a female referee—who issued him a technical foul during an Adidas-sponsored AAU tournament—wasn’t replaced.
He was controversially granted his request, and on Monday, Adidas apologized for the poor handling of the incident.
“The referee substitutions made during our tournament last week are not in line with our company values,” Adidas said in its statement, per Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. “It was the wrong decision. We regret the situation and are looking into the matter to make sure our standards for sportsmanship, equality and fair play are met in the future.”
Adidas added, “Any representation that we would compromise our values and inclusive approach for the benefit of any individual is inaccurate.”
Ball was later ejected for a second technical, and his team was forced to forfeit the contest after he refused to leave the court.
After the game, Ball said the female referee “needs to stay in her lane because she ain’t ready for this,” according to Rovell.
It isn’t the first time Ball has directed that exact line toward a woman. In May, he told Colin Cowherd’s co-host on Fox Sports 1’s The Herd, Kristine Leahy, to stay in her lane after she asked him how many Big Baller Brand shoes he had sold.
Ball’s rant against the female referee went beyond his latest catchphrase, however.
“She’s got a vendetta because she’s a woman that is trying to break into the refereeing thing, but giving techs and calling fouls, that’s no way to do it,” he said, per Christine Brennan of USA Today.
He continued: “She ain’t ready for this. … She ain’t good enough. She ain’t got enough on her resume. I can tell.”
The fallout from the incident was swift. Court Club Elite, the company that provided the refs for Adidas’ AAU tournament, terminated its contract with the sporting apparel company, according to Rovell.
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