5713RE: [APBR_analysis] Referee study: Help coding referee race
- Apr 19, 2005Hi Justin --
This group is largely dead, moved to SonicCentral.com/abprmetrics, but I believe I already saw you place this query there.
Going strictly by appearances (this could lead to mis-guesses, e.g. if I saw Jason Kidd I'd probably guess he was White):
Jack Madden was definitely White (in appearance). A longtime prominent ref in the NBA (I saw him once call 5 technical fouls on the Celtics and their coaches in about 10 seconds).
Jake O'Donnell, same.
There are several others who I'm pretty sure are White but I better not say because I may've been thinking of someone else.
"Arzoumanian" sounds like an Armenian name, and Armenians are considered to be White (by the Federal census definitions; often they check off "Other" instead of "White"). But I don't know what he actually looked like so I cannot vouch for his ethnicity.
From: Justin Wolfers [mailto:justinwolfers@...]
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 11:52 AM
Subject: [APBR_analysis] Referee study: Help coding referee race
Hi. Let me start by introducing myself - Justin Wolfers - an
economist, currently doing research on the NBA. Specifically, as
many of you know, the NBA is majority African-American, while the
refereeing corps are majority white. We are interested in trying to
figure out whether this has any effects: Are white players treated
differently by white referees, and are black players treated
differently by black referees.
We are in the midst of compiling our dataset. The toughest thing to
do so far has been to code the race of the game officials; so far we
have been content to take a best guesstimate based on press photos
of the games.
So, our request for help:
a) Does anybody know of a systematic collection of data or photos
regarding NBA officials for the past 15 years?
b) We are currently doing this by hand, and think that we've
succeeded with about two-thirds of past referees. We are hopeful
that a few keen-eyed fans will recall the race of some of those we
are yet to find photos of.
If you can help us with even one or two of these, I would be most
Specifically, our uncoded list of officials includes:
(and possibly a referee by the name of "Sehr").
c) If anyone is aware of any related research, we would be most
I'm happy to take responses offline (justinwolfers@...), and
share them with others, or take responses here on the boards.
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