NBA Investigating Referee for Social Media Shenanigans

Refs have feelings too. According to a report shared by ESPN Sunday afternoon, the NBA is investigating longtime referee Eric Lewis for the alleged use of a Twitter account to respond to remarks that disparaged league officiating.

Supposedly, Lewis used the account @CutliffBlair (attributed to "Blair Cutliff") to defend himself and other league officials from fans, trolls, and whoever else had a bone to pick with calls during NBA games. Notably, the account has since been deleted.

The NBA has a rule in place that prevents referees from commentating on officiating without authorization, so Lewis could face discipline if the league finds hard evidence linking him to the account.

More importantly, Lewis has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight in an embarrassing fashion, a nightmare for any referee. So much of his job revolves around projecting authority and commanding the respect of players; airing dirty laundry under the supposed cover of anonymity isn't a good look. He can't afford to appear petty.

Lewis isn't the first NBA figure caught airing grievances with burner accounts. Bryan Colangelo resigned in disgrace as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018 after he and his wife were linked to accounts blasting his team's players. Kevin Durant also admitted to using various social media profiles to duel with haters, but he really only faced a few sneers here and there from fans and critics. So, history says there's a huge range of outcomes on the consequences Lewis could have come his way.

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