Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet calls out NBA ref in heated rant

Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet at the press conference, following a game with the LA Clippers. (Courtesy: @SNFaizalKhamisa/Twitter)


Enough was enough for Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet who went off on NBA referee Ben Taylor after losing 108 to 100, against the LA Clippers Wednesday night. This comes amid an already frustrating season for the Raptors. 

During the post-game press conference, VanVleet risked a potential fine from the league to deliver a nasty rant about the referees. In particular, Ben Taylor, one of the three refs who were officiating the game. 

“I’ll take a fine, I don’t really care. I thought Ben Taylor was f***ing terrible tonight. For most nights, you know, couple out of the three, there’s one or two that just f**k the game up,” he said angrily. 

VanVleet claims there’s been questionable officiating for a couple of games in a row. 

“Denver was tough, obviously. You come out tonight competing really hard. In the third quarter, I get a bullsh*t tech, it changed the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game,” VanVleet said. 

“Most of the refs are trying hard, I like a lot of the refs, they’re trying hard, they’re pretty fair, they communicate well and then you’ve got the others who just want to be d**s, and it f***s the game up. Nobody is coming to see that s***, they’re coming to see the players,” he continued. 

Under the NBA’s Collective Barganing Agreement, the fines for publicly criticizing referees range from $15,000 to $50,000, according to TSN reporter Josh Lewenberg.

READ MORE: The Toronto Raptors deleted their Women’s Day video because women hated every second of it

Nevertheless, many fans are applauding VanVleet’s honesty for holding the refs accountable. 

Last week, VanVleet decided to hold his tongue, despite wanting to criticize the officials following their loss to the Denver Nuggets. Instead, he said he’d “save his money.” But after being given another technical foul by Taylor during last night’s game, the Raptor guard lost his temper and couldn’t stay silent any longer. 

“We’re losing a little bit of the fabric of what the NBA is and was. It’s been disappointing this season. You can look up most of my techs this year has been Ben Taylor officiating, so at a certain point as a player, you feel it’s personal,” VanVleet said.

The foul marks his eighth of the season, with five out of the eight given by Taylor. Controversial officiating put aside, VanVleet admits that was not the reason for the team’s lost, but the calls make it tougher to overcome. 

Currently, the Raptors are 9th in the Eastern Conference. Their next game is Friday night at 10:30pm against the Los Angeles Lakers. 



Stay In The Know with Now Toronto

Be the first to know about new and exclusive content