A WNBA referee has been slammed by fans after ejecting a player after the pair appeared to accidentally bump into each other.
Chicago Sky centre Astou Ndour was walking down the court in conversation with teammate Allie Quigley when she and referee Kevin Fahy bumped into each other.
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What looked to be a harmless accident escalated quickly though, as Fahy reacted by immediately and dramatically tossing Ndour from the game.
The ejection came moments after the Sky’s bench was issued a technical foul.
By the book, any contact between a player and a referee should result in an automatic ejection, however many fans pointed out that this situation was entirely outside the spirit of the rule.
For her part, Ndour took to social media after the game where, despite saying she remained confused by the call, that she would respect the ref’s decision.
“I have always shown great respect for the referees and my career supports me,” the Spanish-Senagalese player wrote.
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
“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.”
Fans on the other hand, were less conciliatory.
this is the biggest overreaction on the part of the referee.— bent feminist (@bentfeminist) September 8, 2019
He bumped into her. Very bad technical and thrown out of the game call by the ref.— Katherine Walter (@kwwalter70) September 8, 2019
That ref Should be fired! What a disgrace— bardo (@bardorod_24) September 8, 2019
omg that was it??— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) September 8, 2019
this happened right in front of my face and i had no idea what she was tossed for
From the broadcast and other folks I've been chatting with: Making contact with the ref is an automatic ejection. I imagine the ref must have thought she pushed into him since they didn't rescind it after a review.— Nick Niendorf (@niendorf21) September 8, 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
Sky doesn’t clear for Chicago
Ndour’s ejection proved extremely costly for the Sky, who were looking to enter the playoffs on form.
They were ultimately outdone 100-86 by the Washington Mystics, ending their season with a 20-14 record.
Their record was enough to book them a spot in the playoffs as a 5th seed, where they will face the Phoenix Mercury.
Australian star Li Cambage’s Las Vegas Aces head into the playoffs as the fourth seed, good for a first round bye.
They’ll play the winner of the first round matchup between the Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm.