Violet Palmer Rumors
Violet Palmer made her biggest call yet: The NBA referee will marry her partner of 20 years on Friday. In an interview with The Associated Press, Palmer says she came out to her fellow NBA referees in 2007. She has not tried to keep her sexuality a secret from the league since that time. “This is actually the big formal coming out,” Palmer said. “We are saying to the world, to everyone, here’s my wife of 20 years. This is the big coming out.”
18 Aug 13
“They could be a Martian for all I care,” said Heat forward Shane Battier. “As long as they get calls right, are approachable and don’t have an ego trip, it doesn’t matter who it is blowing that whistle. “I really think Violet is one of the better officials. She’s decisive in her calls. You’re allowed to talk to her. That’s all we want.”
As a rule, NBA players treat Violet Palmer no differently than her male counterparts, which is the way she likes it. “I’m a referee,” she said, “and I’m there to call a game.” Palmer, 48, has been in the NBA since 1997, when she and Dee Kantner became the first female officials to work for a major professional sports league in the United States. “Back in those early days, I never thought of myself as any kind of pioneer or a barrier breaker,” Palmer said. “I was just getting a chance in a game that I love and was too concerned with doing all of the things right to earn that position. “But as the years have gone by and I’ve been asked to speak at a lot of career days and the subject comes up each year with Black History Month, I have come to understand the significance. I’m proud of having done something that nobody else has done and I’m most hopeful about having opened the doors for other young women in the future.”
The NBA said Thursday that officials Ed Malloy, John Goble and Violet Palmer missed a foul by Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist against Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani on a jump shot in the final seconds of the Bobcats’ 98-97 victory Wednesday night.
Violet Palmer hardly ever hears fans play the gender card anymore. She gets treated as an equal, which is all she ever wanted — to get the same verbal hailstorm as any ref. It’s a funny thing, though. Palmer spent all those years trying to downplay the social significance of the hire, hoping to be noticed for her work alone and not because she gets into uniform in a different locker room. In 2012, the view has changed. “I can see it now,” Palmer said. That she was a pioneer. “At the time, no,” she said. “I had no clue. Wasn’t in my vision, wasn’t a forethought. Wasn’t anything. Looking back on it, you kind of sit back and you go, ‘Wow, I am the only woman doing this.’ I’m more aware of it now than in the beginning.”