December 20th, 2013
06:52 AM ET

NBA’s sole female referee recounts her trailblazing path

Tune in to "New Day" on CNN from 6 to 9 a.m. ET. 

Violet Palmer didn't set out to be a trailblazer for women in men's sports, but as the only female referee in the NBA today, that's exactly what she's become.

"I think for all women, we can do anything we want; we just have to have the opportunity to now show that we can do the job." she told CNN's Michaela Pereira.

Palmer was given her opportunity to officiate basketball games on a national level in 1997 and recalls what it was like facing adversity and discrimination, saying "Every negative thing you can think of, they've thrown it at me."

" ‘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.’ "

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