Adam Silver Wants 'Roughly' Half of NBA's New Referee Hires to Be Women

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2019

Referee Lauren Holtkamp gives a thumbs up during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Utah Jazz, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver envisions a future where half of the new referees the league hires are women.

"It's an area, frankly, where I've acknowledged that I'm not sure how it was that it remained so male-dominated for so long," he said during a Thursday appearance for The Economic Club of Washington D.C., per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "Because it's an area of the game where physically, certainly, there's no benefit to being a man, as opposed to a woman, when it comes to refereeing."

He noted there are only three women officials in the league, although two of them were among the last five refs added from the G League.

"The goal is: Going forward, it should be roughly 50-50 of new officials entering in the league," he said. "Same for coaches, by the way. We have a program, too. There's no reason why women shouldn't be coaching men's basketball."

There has never been a female head coach in NBA history, but Becky Hammon is an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Mystics player Kristi Toliver worked as an assistant for the Washington Wizards, and Kelly Krauskopf is the assistant general manager of the Indiana Pacers.

As for the officials, Ashley Moyer-Gleich and Natalie Sago were promoted from the G League to full-time NBA refs in November.

They joined Lauren Holtkamp as the only women who are currently referees in the NBA, although Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner also officiated in the league.

Silver’s comments suggest there will be more to join them in the coming years.

Related

    NBA Moves Start of Free Agency

    NBA makes it official. Teams can negotiate with FAs at 6pm ET on June 30 instead of midnight July 1

    NBA logo
    NBA

    NBA Moves Start of Free Agency

    NBA makes it official. Teams can negotiate with FAs at 6pm ET on June 30 instead of midnight July 1

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Playoffs Without LeBron = 'Mind F--k'

    Howard Beck talked to Draymond, others about a LeBron-less playoffs

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Playoffs Without LeBron = 'Mind F--k'

    Howard Beck talked to Draymond, others about a LeBron-less playoffs

    Howard Beck
    via Bleacher Report

    Giannis Can Have MVP; Kawhi Is Taking the East

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Giannis Can Have MVP; Kawhi Is Taking the East

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report

    Why 'Dubs Don't Need KD' Narrative Is Wrong

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Why 'Dubs Don't Need KD' Narrative Is Wrong

    Will Gottlieb
    via Bleacher Report