Ja Morant’s shocking ejection for talking to a fan sparked outrage around NBA Twitter, with several fans demanding the league to suspend, fine or fire the referee who made the call.
For those who missed it, Morant was handed his second technical foul late in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder after an exchange with a fan. However, while it would have been understandable if the conversation was intense and really serious, that was not the case at all.
As the fan herself revealed, she was actually cheering for Ja–being a Morant superfan who lives in OKC–and the Grizzlies guard was simply responding to her in a friendly manner. With that said, it came as a surprise to everyone when the referee slapped Morant with the technical foul leading to getting thrown out.
Of course Grizzlies and NBA fans were angry with the decision, taking to Twitter to air their complaints.
“The NBA must come out with a statement explaining this decision. Also this Ref should be suspended without pay. Morant talking to a fan and gets ejected, nothing sinister just looked like a harmless fun conversation. People pay to see the stars not the refs,” one critic wrote.
“Key word friendly. There was no arguing or taunting she is wearing a Ja Morant hoodie. FIRE THE REF,” another one said.
Some couldn’t help but point out how the referees also denied the fans in attendance to see Morant, adding that the NBA should hold the referees accountable as well.
“Refs need to be held accountable for stupid calls. Suspend them, fire them, clean up the game. There’s no room for this nonsense. It has to stop. They ruin the #NBA. That ref just robbed 20,000 people who paid to see Ja Morant play live, in person. 20,000 x $50 = $1,000,000,” a third Twitter user shared.
“Ja Morant got ejected for talking to Grizzlies fan. NBA fine these refs!” another angry fan noted.
A fifth NBA supporter commented, “Ja Morant should have never been ejected. It makes no sense. The NBA is a social professional sport. Fans are going to be yelling and all. If they got good seats they are basically on the court. If Ja is interacting with a fan. Then let them interact.”
Sure enough, due to the controversial nature of the call, it won’t be surprising if Morant and the Grizzlies file an appeal to the NBA to investigate the matter. After all, it is true that such wrong calls are not acceptable in the league where every game matters.