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The best color commentators provide insight, opinion and analysis that adds depth to the broadcast. There is nothing in the job description that says commentators are supposed to make disparaging comments that make them sound sexist.
Richie Adubato, a former NBA head coach who works as a color commentator for the Orlando Magic on WDBO, treaded that line Friday night during a game between the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers when he vehemently protested a call by referee Violet Palmer. He foolishly suggested she isn't qualified to be an NBA ref, saying Palmer should go back to the WNBA because that's where she belongs. In an attempt to justify his rant, Adubato said Palmer can call that a foul in the WNBA but not the NBA.
Look, I understand that Palmer has a legion of critics and isn't the most popular ref. And even though I didn't see the foul, I don't have a problem with Adubato disagreeing with the call. It's the way that he did, though. He personally attacked her and questioned the credentials of somebody in their 12th season as an NBA ref. If he didn't agree with a call by Dick Bavetta, I seriously doubt Adubato would say the veteran ref needs glasses and should probably be officiating high school games.
Adubato's comment wasn't as degrading as the one by Celtics commentator Cedric Maxwell two years ago in which he said Palmer should go back in the kitchen and cook him breakfast. While his defenders thought it was a joke, Maxwell later apologized.
I'm not accusing Adubato of being a misogynist. He used to coach in the WNBA and might have some history with her. Regardless, he should have demonstrated a little more sensitivity. It's one thing to speak your mind. It's another to spew garbage.