Joint Statement on the Player-Referee Summit

February 17, 2018 — Today in Los Angeles, a group of NBA players and referees sat down privately to discuss the current state of player-referee relations in the league. The meeting, an initiative organized by the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA), was incredibly productive in terms of opening up the lines of communication between both groups and beginning the process of improving relations.

A variety of issues were discussed in the meeting and both sides agreed to the following action items:

  • Enhanced education and clarification around the Respect for the Game rules
  • The opening of an additional channel of communication for future conflicts
  • Plans for future meetings and discussions
  • A broad review of existing rules and regulations and developing joint recommendations to enhance them

The meeting marks a successful first step in generating empathy and building a better relationship between NBA players and referees. Moving forward, the NBPA and NBRA plan to meet through the spring and into the summer. Both organizations also plan to meet with their respective memberships to share what was discussed in today’s meeting.

“In this meeting, we took some important steps in identifying existing frustrations for both sides,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. “Now with that information, we plan to move forward and continue to work together to find solutions that will enhance the on-court experience for both parties.”

“Our two unions met out of the necessity to examine issues that have previously been left unaddressed,” said NBRA spokesperson Mark Denesuk. “We look forward to continued collaboration between our two organizations to explore common interests.”

For further information:

NBPA Media Contact:
Elle Hagedorn
(212) 655–0896


NBRA Media Contact:
Mark Denesuk

(469) 371–5057