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Celtics broadcaster apologizes on-air

Boston Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell flashes a thumbs up to a supporting fan while getting prepared for an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks in Boston, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007. Maxwell plans to deliver an on-air apology tonight for a comment he made about a female referee. Maxwell, a former Celtics player, disagreed with a call made by Violet Palmer during Monday nights's broadcast of a game against the Houston Rockets. Boston Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell flashes a thumbs up to a supporting fan while getting prepared for an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks in Boston, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007. Maxwell plans to deliver an on-air apology tonight for a comment he made about a female referee. Maxwell, a former Celtics player, disagreed with a call made by Violet Palmer during Monday nights's broadcast of a game against the Houston Rockets. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON --Boston Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell apologized on the air Wednesday night for saying that a female referee should "go back to the kitchen" after he disagreed with one of her calls.

Maxwell made the comment during the Celtics' 77-72 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday. He subsequently said "Go in there and make me some bacon and eggs, would you?" in reference to referee Violet Palmer.

"If I said anything that might have been insensitive or sexist in any way, then I apologize because she worked extremely hard to get where she is now, end of quote," Maxwell said before the Celtics' game against the New York Knicks on WEEI-AM, which is owned by Entercom Communications.

"This really has been a fire storm," he added later.

Maxwell's co-announcer, Sean Grande, followed the apology by saying their show would not change.

"We are not changing the way we do our jobs because of the tendency of media outlets to present people's comments in a way that serves their story," Grande said.

Maxwell declined further comment following the on-air exchange.

Jason Wolfe, Entercom's vice president of AM programming and operations in Boston, said the station does not condone Maxwell's comments, which he called a poor attempt at humor.

"Cedric is an excellent analyst and has been an exemplary employee in the more than 10 years I've known and worked with him," Wolfe said in a statement.

Entercom owns WEEI and WRKO-AM. Celtics games are usually broadcast on WRKO, but Monday and Wednesday night's games were on WEEI.

Maxwell is a former Celtics player and the MVP of the 1981 finals, won by Boston 4-2 over the Rockets. The team retired his number in 2003.

Entercom fired former WRKO talk show host John DePetro in November after he called Green Party gubernatorial candidate Grace Ross a "fat lesbian" on the air. DePetro later apologized.

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