Today in Sports History: October 28

On October 28, 1997, the NBA announced that it had hired Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner, the first two female referees in a major league all-male sports league. Palmer would be the first female to officiate an NBA game, being a referee for the Vancouver Grizzlies’ opener against the Dallas Mavericks. Palmer would go on to officiate in the NBA until 2016, when she had to retire due to knee pain. Kantner was in the NBA until she was fired in 2002, and now she is a referee for women’s basketball in the NCAA.

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