Commissioner Silver, speaking at the Economic Club Of Washington on Thursday, states that he wants to put more women in roles as referees in the NBA.
In fact, he wants to them makeup half of all new referees joining the NBA and is encouraging teams to hire more women as coaches as well, and it’s about time.
According to CNN, there are only three female officials in the NBA right now.
“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,” Silver said of officiating. “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.”
Silver discusses wanting a push for a new goal. An equal amount of both men and women officiating games in the league.
The NBA’s current lack of diversity is quite evident. The league has never had a female head coach. The closest they’ve come is when the San Antonio Spurs employed Becky Hammon as the first woman to be hired as a full-time assistant only five short years ago.
Hammon has continued her move up the coaching ladder within the Spurs organization but has yet to make it to the top spot. For now, she’s got a very visible position in the front row of coaches alongside head coach Gregg Popovich.
Teams within the NBA are said to be actively looking to increase diversity within their ranks. This season, the Indiana Pacers hired Kelly Krauskopf as the teams assistant GM.
Kristi Toliver of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics joined the NBA’s Washington Wizards as part of the assistant coach/player develop emend staff, making her the first active WNBA player to be working as an NBA assistant coach.