For those expecting the NBA to admit to its mistakes or some intentional wrongdoing, they’ll have to wait for the next opportunity. The video created to showcase Jeremy Lin getting viciously fouled again and again without a flagrant foul ever being called also had an email accompanying it sent to the league. The NBA responded with a middle finger, pretty much saying they couldn’t care less.
Reddit user dopest_dope posted about an hour ago that the NBA has responded to his & maraxusofk letter/email noting how Lin seems to be targeted by players on the court with uber-aggressive fouls while referees give it the minimal of responses: A foul call at best, or nothing at all sometimes. Never a flagrant foul, despite the breach of game rules clearly being in the realm of a flagrant 1 or 2.
There was also the video which at the moment is at 750k views and rising. It was hard not to feel bad for the guy getting hacked again and again while watching the complete video. Surely the NBA people in charge of this stuff will watch it too, be deeply moved and decide to admit their referees suck, they’ve been giving certain teams and players preferential treatment while Lin and other players (this isn’t just about him) and from now on will fix their ways. Surely, right?
Well, it doesn’t work that way. While the email and the response now being a matter of public, or big NBA fan bases knowledge which could create some sort of outside pressure effect on the league, it takes actual monetary risks to make the NBA change their ways regarding something. The officiating has been bad and bias for years, and even the overwhelming success and response to this fantastic compilation isn’t going to make the NBA move.
Their full response, if you wanna know?
Thank you for your letter to Commissioner Silver. We take seriously matters related to officiating and appreciate you taking the time to reach out.
Contact that is deemed flagrant by referees and other hard contact (whether called or not) is reviewed by Basketball Operations after each game. During its review, Basketball Operations uses a set of criteria (which you can find here), multiple video angles and enhancements, and its comparable database to calibrate its judgment. When deemed appropriate, a postgame Flagrant Foul can be assessed (including for contact that was not called in the game), and applicable points, warnings, fines and/or suspensions are issued.
While some of the plays in the video you referenced involved hard contact, none was subsequently deemed a Flagrant Foul given the full circumstances, angles and comparables from past games. Referees do make mistakes, which means they miss calls that should have been made. When that occurs, we collect the data and provide referees with feedback to ensure improvement.
Thank you again for contacting us and for being a fan of Jeremy Lin and the NBA.
Adam Bernstein NBA Fan Relations
As one of the commenters summed up nicely, the response could have been shorter:
Thanks for contacting us, I think your letter is about J. Lin, here is another dismissive answer that should make you wonder whether I even read past the first sentence of your letter. Keep giving us your money.
Basically, the NBA suggests its officials are either incompetent or lying, because there’s no way at least some of these fouls aren’t 100% flagrant. But while the NBA cares about the safety of a select few, the rest can go get their head hit and neck twisted while they play basketball for a living. It’s not their problem.