Tags: violet palmer | nba | referee | marry | partner

Violet Palmer, First Female NBA Referee, to Marry Longtime Partner

By    |   Thursday, 31 July 2014 08:07 PM

Violet Palmer, the first female NBA referee, has announced that she will marry her longtime partner next week.

Palmer and Tanya Stine, a celebrity hair stylist, have been together for 20 years, and they’ll make their relationship “formal” in Los Angeles next week.

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“This is actually the big formal coming out," Palmer told The Associated Press. "We are saying to the world, to everyone, here's my wife of 20 years. This is the big coming out."

Despite the numerous headlines that popped up overnight saying that Palmer is “announcing she’s gay,” the NBA ref told the AP that while she didn’t make a big deal out of her sexual orientation, she was open about it within the NBA for years now.

That wasn’t always the case. When she first started there, refereeing her first game in 1997, Palmer didn’t talk about it.

"I always wanted people to just look at my work," she told the AP in a phone interview. "Not look at my personal life, not look at my sexual preference. That doesn't matter. I just wanted people to say, 'Wow, she is a pretty damn good referee.'"

Palmer and Stine had always joked that they’d marry if they made it 20 years together, and that date is coming up in September. And yes, the ref who stares down angry players and crowds is a little nervous.

"It's a different feeling. This is one of kind of making my life and family complete," Palmer told the AP.

NBC Sports expressed concern that Palmer’s announcement of her sexual orientation won’t be taken well.

“The only likable referees are the ones you don’t know. If a ref has come into your purview, it’s because he or she did something that bothered you. So, I think Palmer faces a tougher battle when it comes to people handling her announcement appropriately,” Dan Feldman wrote.

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Violet Palmer, the first female NBA referee, has announced that she will marry her longtime partner next week.
violet palmer, nba, referee, marry, partner
Thursday, 31 July 2014 08:07 PM
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