First Trans And Nonbinary NBA Referee Che Flores Gave Megan Rapinoe a Tattoo In WNBA ‘Wubble’

In a groundbreaking interview with GQ, Che Flores, the first openly nonbinary and transgender referee in professional sports, shared their journey and experiences in the NBA. This exclusive interview, published on Monday, sheds light on Flores’ remarkable career.

One intriguing revelation was Flores’ connection to Megan Rapinoe, the renowned soccer star. It turns out that Flores was the mysterious WNBA referee who gave Rapinoe a stick-and-poke tattoo back in 2020. Rapinoe had briefly mentioned this incident in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar in 2021, keeping the referee’s identity a secret until now.

During the 2020 WNBA bubble, also known as the “Wubble,” Rapinoe had a plan to befriend a talented stick-and-poke artist among the referees. As fate would have it, she found exactly what she was looking for in Flores. Fueled by vodka sodas and a sense of adventure, Rapinoe convinced Flores to ink a tattoo in memory of her mother on the final night of the bubble.

This tattoo represents just one chapter in Flores’ illustrious career. Hailing from Los Angeles and a former women’s basketball player at Cal State Northridge, Flores entered the NBA referee scene in 2022 after an impressive 14-year journey. They have officiated over 1,000 games, spanning across NCAA, G League, and WNBA. Notably, Flores has already supervised 10 championship games, including three critical matches between July 2020 and March 2021.


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