After a video of Sky forward Astou Ndour’s questionable ejection in the game Sunday against the Mystics went viral, the WNBA decided to rescind her technical foul and subsequent ejection.
“After a league review, we have determined that the technical foul against Chicago’s Astou Ndour should not have been assessed,” head of WNBA league operations Bethany Donaphin said in a statement Monday.
Though Ndour escaped a fine, it doesn’t take away the fact that the Sky — already down forward Jantel Lavender (foot injury) — were forced to play more than half the game without their starting power forward.
Ndour was ejected with 3:02 left in the second quarter of the regular-season finale 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 explain how she had been fouled, but Fahy — who was 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 after the Sky’s 100-86 loss. “I thought it was a little premature, but the ref thought he had to do what he had to do.”
The video of Ndour’s ejection garnered more than 1.5 million views on Twitter in less than 24 hours. Several WNBA players and fans supported Ndour, saying the call was “unacceptable” and an “overreaction.”
Wade was “very pleased” with the WNBA’s decision to overturn the call. He also thanked coaches, players and fans for their support.
Ndour also was satisfied with the league’s ruling.
“Chapter closed,” she tweeted in Spanish. “Now for the most important, the #WNBAPlayoffs.”
The fifth-seeded Sky (20-14) will host the eighth-seeded Mercury in a single-elimination first-round game Wednesday at Wintrust Arena. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.