‘They are going to fine me for this’

Tanisha Wright wants WNBA referees to do better. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Tanisha Wright wants WNBA referees to do better. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Tanisha Wright has had it with WNBA officials.

The Atlanta Dream head coach called out referees after her team lost to the New York Liberty on Friday night, 110-80. Wright specifically mentioned a flagrant-one call on Stefanie Dolson after the Liberty center elbowed Dream forward Laeticia Amihere in the nose with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter. Wright, who was assessed a technical foul immediately after the call during the game, believed Dolson should have been given a flagrant two.

“She got elbowed in the mouth. Blood was gushing out,” Wright said about the foul on Amihere. “And for them to only assess a flagrant one is absolutely ridiculous. … I don’t understand how that wasn’t a flagrant two. I really don’t. I don’t understand it. And they’re going to fine me for this, but I’m challenging [the officials] to rise their standards.”

Wright’s words came two days after an WNBA-record 10 technical fouls were called in a game between the Dream and the Dallas Wings. Atlanta also lost that game. She expounded on her disdain for WNBA officiating in general following the game as well.

“Officiating has been notoriously bad all year,” Wright added. “I’ve never sat up here and blamed officials and I won’t blame the officials. But we’re expected to play at a high level every single night. These athletes — on both sides — put in a lot of work to perfect their craft and the officials need to rise to that same occasion. They should be held to that same standard.

“Officiating needs to get better. Period. There’s no if, ands or buts about it. They need to do a better job.”

After the loss, the Dream sit fourth in the Eastern Conference at 5-7.