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NBA game features 2 Black female refs for first time ever

National

Carol Ozemhoya| OW Contributor | 7/9/2018, 11:34 a.m.

It’s rare to see a woman refereeing an NBA game, so imagine the history-making event it was last week when two Black female refs were in charge of handling one game. It happened on July 3 when the Miami Heat played the Los Angeles Lakers, reports Marc J. Spears of ESPN. Danielle Scott and Angelica Suffren, two Black women, reffed the NBA Summer League game. According to the Huffington Post, an NBA spokesperson confirmed it was a first. Spears posted a photo of the two standing during the National Anthem, and said Violet Palmer would be proud. Palmer, a retired basketball referee, broke the NBA’s gender barrier in 1997 when she and Dee Kanter were hired. Palmer was the first woman to officiate an NBA game ― on Oct. 31, 1997, between the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks. She was also the first woman to ref an NBA playoff game ― between the Indiana Pacers and the New Jersey Nets on April 25, 2006. Social media applauded the historic event, with at least one user saying it’s time to have a female coach. And actually, that is not so far in the future, as the San Antonio Spurs have a female assistant coach in Becky Hammon. In May of the years, Hammon was interviewed for the head coaching job with the Milwaukee Bucks.