August 21, 2002
WNBA referee's condition upgraded

WNBA referee Bill Stokes, who collapsed during last night's Comets-Starzz playoff game, has been upgraded to serious condition. Still no details on what happened to him, but that's good news.

Via Larry, who gives a more detailed description of the events as we saw them. As I recall, it did happen during a timeout, Larry. Haley the mascot and the dance team had just come out for the throw-T-shirts-to-the-crowd gig they do every game. They, and the music that accompanies them when they do this, stopped as soon as people noticed what was going on. Timeouts at Comets games are usually boisterous, but for the rest of the game there was none of the usual stuff - no silly Haley stunts, no Team NRG dancing, just some loudspeaker music and a bit of cheerleading.

UPDATE: From today's Chron, some more detailed information about Bill Stokes and word that Val Ackerman has received criticism for her decision to let the game continue. Last night Tiffany said to me that she agreed with John Lopez. She called the decision to continue the game "devaluing the life of Bill Stokes". I note that Ackerman now says that her decision came only after she received word that Stokes had been revived. I suppose that makes her choice more defensible.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 21, 2002 to Other sports