The WNBA has had officiating issues all season, but the latest questionable call causing buzz on social media might be the worst one yet.
Already down forward Jantel Lavender (foot injury), the Sky on Sunday were forced to play without Astou Ndour in their regular-season finale against the Mystics after she was ejected in the second quarter for making what appeared to be accidental contact with an official.
After forward Cheyenne Parker was assessed a technical foul from the bench, Ndour was trying to argue her case to referee Kevin Fahy. She reached out her forearm to show him a mark to prove she had been fouled, but Fahy, who had his head turn while talking to guard Allie Quigley, didn’t see Ndour and walked into her arm.
As a result, Fahy emphatically gestured for Ndour to be ejected.
Coach James Wade disputed the call before Ndour was escorted off the court by security with a towel over her head.
“If you know Astou, you know she’s nothing like that,” Wade told the Sun-Times in a phone interview. “I thought it was a little premature, but the ref thought he had to do what he had to do.”
After the Sky’s 100-86 loss, Ndour, who finished with just five points, took to Twitter to voice her confusion with the call that caused her miss most of the game.
“I have always shown great respect for the referees and my career supports me,” she tweeted. “I still don’t understand very well what happened today and I don’t agree, but I respect the decision. I will continue to work hard. Let’s go.”
I have always shown great respect for the referees and my career supports me.I still don't understand very well what happened today and I don't agree, but I respect the decision.I will continue to work hard.Let’s go #Quickturn #Bigchallengecoming #Playoffstime #SkyTown@WNBA pic.twitter.com/2jWNlcCXYy— Astou Ndour (@NdouraStou) September 8, 2019
Quigley, who witnessed the incident happen directly in front of her, also chimed in, tweeting: “The sad part is all 3 refs reviewed the play and STILL decided this warranted an ejection!!!!”
While the Sky kept their responses professional, people on Twitter question Fahy’s call and reaction.
this is the biggest overreaction on the part of the referee.— bent feminist (@bentfeminist) September 8, 2019
Thoughts and prayers go out to this brave referee. May he fully recover someday! https://t.co/KUpwRgx0iV— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) September 9, 2019
Huge overreaction from a ref with a huge ego. Only furthers my opinion of him as a subpar ref.— Ryan Tryzbiak (@rtryzbiak) September 8, 2019
@CathyEngelbert this is unacceptable! These ladies deserve so much better! AGAIN, THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!— WNBA_LYNX (@WNBA_Lynx) September 8, 2019
The Sky could’ve used Ndour’s size and skills to try and slow down Mystics star Elena Delle Donne, who dropped 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
But none of this matters going forward. The Sky (20-14), who are fifth in the standings, have turned their attention to the postseason. They’ll host the eighth-seeded Mercury on Wednesday at Wintrust Arena.