Tags: sarah thomas | nfl | official | first | female

Sarah Thomas: NFL to Hire First Female Official in the Game, Sources Say

Image: Sarah Thomas: NFL to Hire First Female Official in the Game, Sources Say
(David Grunfeld, Nola.com/The Times-Picayune/Landov, file)

By    |   Friday, 03 Apr 2015 12:02 PM

Sarah Thomas will be the first female official in the NFL, according to a Baltimore Sun reporter who confirmed the news on Twitter this week.

The Sun's Aaron Wilson broke the story of Thomas' hiring on Twitter Friday morning.



Though Thomas would be the first full-time NFL referee in the league — if the report is accurate — she would not be the first to call a game. Shannon Eastin refereed a game as a replacement official when the regular NFL crews were locked out in 2012, Fox Sports reported.

Thomas began her refereeing career at the high school level in 1999 and worked her way up the ranks, calling games in Conference USA in 2007. In 2009, she became the first woman to referee a college bowl game and, by 2011, she broke another glass ceiling by becoming the first female to work in a Big Ten stadium.

"I set out to do this and get involved in officiating not having any idea that there were not any females officiating football," Thomas previously told the NFL Network, according to Fox Sports. "Being a former basketball player, you saw female officiating all the time. So, no, I don't feel like a pioneer."

Thomas, a mother and pharmaceutical sales representative when she's not a referee, was one of two females in the NFL officiating development program last season, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

"Being raised with brothers I'm just one of the guys, I guess," Thomas said last year while working a Cleveland Browns minicamp. "I don't try to be one of the guys. I am a female, but I don't look at myself as just a female. I look at myself as an official. With their respect and the respect that I have for them, it just doesn't feel like it's a male-dominated profession."

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Sarah Thomas will be the first female official in the NFL, according to a Baltimore Sun reporter who confirmed the news on Twitter this week.
sarah thomas, nfl, official, first, female
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2015-02-03
Friday, 03 Apr 2015 12:02 PM
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