NBA Ref Sues Reporter Over Tweet

from the thin-skinned-ref dept

If you're a sports fan, complaining about or criticizing sports officials, referees, umpires, etc. is often a part of the pastime itself. And, of course, some of the complaints are often exaggerated (to say the least). While many refs have learned to be rather stoic in the face of criticism, it appears that NBA ref Bill Spooner is going in a different direction. He's suing a Minnesota Timberwolves beat reporter, Jon Krawczynski, for defamation over a tweet claiming that Spooner had promised to help Minnesota get back two points it may have lost to a bad call. Now, assuming that Spooner made no such statement, this certainly could be defamatory. Whether or not it was actually malicious, or whether or not any actual harm came from it seem like open questions. Instead, all this is doing is drawing that much more attention to the original comments and to Spooner's reaction. Perhaps just staying stoic is a better option.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    The tweet calls the ref's credibility into question, and is a very big issue. Something like this (if true) would probably cost him his job, would hurt the league's crediblity, and could even have repercussions all the way to Vegas (sports book).

    Seems to me that shutting up isn't a really good option here.

     

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  2.  
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    Chris, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Someone's mad/butthurt over criticism..

     

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  3.  
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    a-dub (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Seems like Rambis could easily clear this up.

     

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  4.  
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    lux (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    Agreed. The NBA is already embroiled in a favoritism controversy, so it's expected that a Ref would take this seriously.

     

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  5.  
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    Steven (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    Haven't read the original article with the line in question, but I'd tend to agree. Unlike most instances brought up here this one brings his professional reputation into question.

    Now if it was done in an obvious joking manner, which it may have been, then I would probably end up changing my tune on this.

     

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  6.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Agreed. The NBA is already embroiled in a favoritism controversy, so it's expected that a Ref would take this seriously.

    Which is odd, because nobody takes NBA Refs seriously.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    The story saying it all:

    "Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd 'get it back' after a bad call," Krawczynski tweeted. "Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks."

    He has called into question the ref, and the league as a whole. Unless he has absolute proof, he just put his foot in it big time.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Seriously? Have you ever been to a stadium (or have you ever even witnessed a sports even)?

    His credibility is not the only thing that is put into question, but also:

    - His genetics (example: comparisons to various animals/animal parts like "Jackass!" or "Dickhead!");
    - His nature (example: comparisons to excretions like "you piece of s***");
    - The moral integrity of his ancestors (example: "son of a b****", or "b******");
    - His moral integrity (example: insinuation of bribery like "they bought the ref!");
    - His vision (example: "is the ref blind?!");
    - etc,etc,etc.

    Not to mention (death) threats or threats of physical violence against him and his family.

    So, some hack reporter writing about him in a tweet saying that he might be biased, should probably be the least of his concerns.

     

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  9.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Tweets

    Well, if I was a NBA referee I wouldn't like all those fans tweeting either. How is a player supposed to know if it was me blowing my whistle or a fan tweeting.....

    Oh wait....wrong kind of tweet...my bad.

     

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  10.  
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    Kevin (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I have not a clue where in that statement he called the league out for anything. He made a statement similar to what many fans all over the US and abroad have done when a ref makes a bad call or feels that the ref made a bad call. I to have scorned NFL ref Ed Hochuli numerous times for his botched call during a Chargers Broncos game which the Chargers SHOULD HAVE WON!! Just sayin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRyN7naQcM0

    ROBBERY I TELL YOU!!

     

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  11.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "He has called into question the ref, and the league as a whole. Unless he has absolute proof, he just put his foot in it big time."

    The league and whoever represents NBA officials as a group put themselves into question thanks to their support and subsequent reactions to Tim Donaghy.

    Beyond, this is supremely stupid because you don't have to look at individual plays or games; this happense ALL THE TIME! They're called make-up calls and you can catch one in just about every single game in the NBA, NFL, and NHL. You may have heard about a recent college game in the Big 10 Tournement when one coach went up to the refs at the half and kept saying "11 to 1, boys. 11 to 1!"

    What was he complaining about? His team only shot 1 freethrow while the other team shot 11. His team wasn't getting foul calls.

    Want to guess what happened in the second half?

     

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  12.  
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    AdamR (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    If Rambis ever wants a call to go his way he would shut up.

     

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  13.  
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    sam, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    this guy could lose his job. this statement implies game fixing. what if they were two points away from the spread a very lucrative betting option. this guy could lose his job or such.

     

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  14.  
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    Jesse (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Somebody is calling him corrupt. Somebody is saying he is abusing his authority.

    If those claims are untrue, then responding is certainly appropriate. Perhaps he doesn't have a problem with more people knowing about these allegations. Maybe all it will do is call into question the (questionable) capabilities of this reporter.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    People still play, AND WATCH, basketball?

     

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  16.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    People still play, AND WATCH, basketball?

    I watch basketball, but not the NBA. College hoops only and usually only during March Madness.

    Filling out my bracket right now as a matter of fact.

     

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  17.  
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    ts, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    I'm all for a guy standing up for himself, but let's not waste any taxpayer money by taking this to court. Just find the guy, grab him in a head lock and start swinging until he apologizes.

     

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  18.  
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    velox (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Jeez, why doesn't Krawczynski just call that innovative attorney John Steele so he can start one of those new-fangled reverse class-action lawsuits against the whole stadium who booed him.

     

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  19.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    "People still play, AND WATCH, basketball?"

    D. Rose, MVP, biznatch....

     

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  20.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re:

    D. Rose is good, but he's no R. Rondo

    :-P

     

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  21.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 15th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I like you Common, but that was just basketball stupid....

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    How about the NBA tells us what happened to corrupt ref that threw games? He had said he was going to name names and reveal all the other players and refs tied into the mob that were involved in cheating. He disappeared after that and we never heard anything about it again. Screw the NBA and their Mob buddies.

     

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  23.  
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    trilobug, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    Maybe I'm missing something.

    Why is this even an issue this happens every single NBA game.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    If you read techdirt, complaining about or criticizing officials, etc. is often a part of the pastime itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Mar 16th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hahaha, I play, they got different styles...both studs. I pick my Celtics to come out of the east, but the Bulls are the scariest team in the league if you ask me. They've got one hell of a coach.

     

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