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Referees Association Upset Mike Budenholzer Not Suspended

Javier Rojas/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer was fined $25,000 for what was deemed “incidental” contact of a referee in Saturday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Budenholzer received a technical foul and was ejected for the incident:

Shortly after the news of the fine broke, the National Basketball Referees Association released a harsh statement disagreeing with the ruling. Calling it a “sharp departure from past practice,” the NBRA said Budenholzer should’ve been suspended by the league:

“Referees operate in an environment in which an influential NBA team owner has repeatedly mocked the efficacy of fines as means to change bad behavior,” commented NBRA General Counsel Lee Seham. “Recent League precedent dictated that a coach who aggressively charged onto the floor during live action and physically interfered with a Referee would be suspended. We are now operating at a lower level with less transparency, degraded safety, and diminished respect for the Game. Coaches should compete by creating better teams, not by physically intimidating officials.”

Budenholzer apologized to Ben Taylor, the official he made contact with, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. Budenholzer also released a statement about it:

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