No matter what the sport, a universal truth is that you cannot bump, hit, or touch an official without it being a penalty, often coming with an ejection. Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, or anything else, touching the referee or official is a no-no.
That typically comes with the caveat of the contact being purposeful, however, typically in an effort to intimidate or threaten the official in disagreement with a call. Incidental contact, especially if it’s caused by the referee, usually doesn’t result in anything. I say usually, because Astou Ndour of the Chicago Sky found herself getting tossed on Sunday in a game against the Mystics for accidental contact when a referee strolled into her.
Here's the video replay of the Astou Ndour ejection: pic.twitter.com/MipIgQdfSM
— Nick Niendorf (@niendorf21) September 8, 2019
Ndour appeared to be talking with her teammate and, possibly, the official while holding her arm out and pointing to it as he walked between them to the scorer’s table. He bumped into her arm and absolutely freaked out, hitting her with a technical and an immediate ejection.
Referees never tolerate contact in a menacing way, but this seemed accidental at worst and an overreaction on the part of the official to toss Ndour. We’ve heard from WNBA players this year upset with the officiating and this certainly won’t help a divide between players and officials.