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DO NEW NBA REFS JUST WANT TO BE ONE OF THE GUYS?
Published October 30, 1997
Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner, the NBA's newly named women officials, met the press yesterday and discussed their appointment as the "first two women referees hired to officiate in a major American professional sports league," according to Greg Logan of NEWSDAY. Logan: "But what people really want to know is how they will handle questions of sexual harassment in the workplace. Specifically, what happens when an NBA player pats one of them on the butt during a game?" Kantner: "If it's in the context of an athlete patting you on the butt, this is not something we would misinterpret. If the actions are condescending, I think Violet and I will handle that and disseminate it." Logan: "Both women indicated their surprise at the attention their hiring has received, but the NBA has minimized the possibility of a circus atmosphere." Yesterday's interview was the only one the two will give all season (NEWSDAY, 10/30). Kantner called reports of sexism and criticism by current players "sensationalism" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/30). MORE TROUBLE? In L.A., Mark Heisler wrote that "as many" as 15 NBA referees "are said to be at risk" in the IRS' continuing investigation of officials. NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "We don't know. I am told other indictments are possible." Heisler added that "many" refs "are waiting uneasily." One veteran official said he has "spent more than $50,000 in legal fees" (L.A. TIMES, 10/29). EASY DAVE, NO, THE OTHER ONE: On the "Late Show," David Letterman offered his Top Ten Complaints Of The New Female NBA referees: 10) Have to share the ladies' room with Dennis Rodman; 9) The new referee uniforms look conspicuously like Hooters outfits; 8) Always go home smelling like Ben-Gay; 7) Players so obsessed with sports that they never want to just talk; 6) That "Lil' Penny" guy always trying to look up your skirt; 5) Keep getting faint and nauseous from Michael Jordan's cologne; 4) Players keep asking if they can watch you inflate the ball; 3) Whenever you call a foul, they try to get out of it by saying your hair looks pretty; 2) Husbands who keep beating the 24 second clock; 1) Them dudes is sweaty (CBS, 10/29). CHUCKIE'S BACK: Charles Barkley is quoted in today's HOUSTON CHRONICLE as saying that he is "leaning toward retirement" after fallout from Sunday's arrest in Orlando, FL. Barkley: "If the league is not going to stand by me, then I'll say, 'Thank you very much,' and move on." Barkley said that the league wants to interview him to "begin its investigation of the matter" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/30).