The commissioner of the National Basketball Association, Adam Silver, called for an affirmative action quota to be imposed on the league’s coaches and referees in an event on Thursday.
Silver said that “going forward, it should be roughly 50-50 of new officials entering in the league. Same for coaches, by the way. We have a program, too. There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball.”
Silver didn’t seem to endorse a specific measure to enforce his preferred diversity quota during his remarks. It’s possible the commissioner is simply seeking to appear virtuous to progressives obsessed with establishing hiring quotas for women and minorities, even in male professional sports. Were his hiring quota ever to be implemented, it would likely end in disaster and incur a massive backlash from fans and players.
Some women already officiate in professional basketball and the NBA. However, it comes naturally most that men will be more inclined to pursue a career involving a men’s professional sport, including officiating and coaching. Were Silver’s unlikely proposition ever to be implemented, it’s likely that the relatively small pool of female basketball referees would be stretched thin to even provide qualified referees, while the process of becoming an NBA referred would become doubly difficult for men.
Curiously, Silver’s call for equality in officiating and coaching ranks wasn’t applied to the face of the league itself: the players. It’s also worth noting that his call for representation of preferred groups didn’t apply to his own comfortable position as NBA commissioner. Fans and commentators have called for the NBA, a league with a majority of black players, to hire a black commissioner– a milestone Silver continues to thwart by remaining in office.
As of Friday morning Silver is yet to apologize to women’s groups for his refusal to call for their inclusion on NBA rosters as players. It seems the nominally ‘progressive’ commissioner’s demands for mandated inclusion end when it could possibly hit his bottom line.
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