Place of Residence: A National Basketball Association arena near you or Los Angeles.
Why She’s a Game Changer: Palmer is currently the only female referee in the NBA.
Sometimes longevity under difficult circumstances deserves praise. Palmer became one of two women to infiltrate the all-male referee ranks of the NBA in 1997. Her fellow groundbreaking female referee left after five years, leaving Palmer to hold it down on her own for the last several years.
“I didn’t just kick the door — I knocked it down,” Palmer told espnW.
Palmer’s skill has also earned her the distinction of being the first woman to serve as a referee during the playoffs of any major American sport.
The climb upward hasn’t been easy.
Palmer spent nine years refereeing high school and women’s college games, including two NCAA Final Fours and the championships. The NBA took notice and recruited Palmer.
“The NBA was never my goal, because I thought it was unattainable. I was a college referee. I was the No. 3 referee in the world for women’s basketball. I had everything. The Final Four. Big TV games — all the limelight I wanted. But my personality is if you give me a challenge, I’m going to take it. In the back of my mind, I said, It doesn’t cost me anything. I can just try it. If nothing happens, the training will be good.”
But things were difficult at first.
“Generally it was a good ‘ole boys club, and I think that’s within any sport. There were a lot of referees that resented me joining the ranks,” Palmer told PBS.
But looking back at her life, it wasn’t hard to predict that Palmer would be a trailblazer. If she wasn’t challenging her brother in basketball, she was busy being the only girl on her Little League team.
At first, players didn’t know how to deal with her, said Palmer, and the fans and the critics were worse.
“‘You’re not going to make it.’ ‘Why are you here? Go back to WNBA.’ ‘Players and coaches are not going to accept you.’ ‘Your guys that you work with, they’re not going to accept you,’” Palmer said about her critics.
And the rookies sometimes didn’t know how to act, Palmer told CNN.
“Every now and then, I might have a little young fella come out, and I say, Oh wait, young fella, I’ve got a lot more years of service than you. Check yourself,’ ” said Palmer.
But then the players began to see that she was just like any of the other referees. Some of the players first looked at her as a Mother figure and then just began to realize she was a cool person.
“I think a woman should be able to do any job that she qualifies for,” Palmer told Scholastic. “If she can go out and be the best at it like any man, why shouldn’t she have the opportunity to do whatever sport or career [she wants]?”
Now Palmer’s boldness has left that door she kicked open ajar for other women.
“Two more women have already been working two or three NBA games a month this season for on-the-job training that will go through January,” Palmer said. “And I’m not sure anyone even noticed much, which is great.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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