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Report: NFL hires first female official

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The NFL has hired its first female official, Sarah Thomas, in a ground-breaking move, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Thomas, who became the first female to officiate an NCAA football game in 2007, has previously been a finalist for the NFL job. She has been working in the NFL’s Officiating Development Program.

Thomas is a native of Mississippi who began her officiating career in high school. She began working football games for Conference USA in 2007 and became the first woman to officiate a bowl game in 2009.

Thomas has worked some New Orleans Saints’ training camps and officiated an NFL preseason game last August.

Thomas told the NFL Network last year that she doesn’t feel like a pioneer while working in the development program.

“I set out to do this and get involved in officiating not having any idea that there were not any females officiating football” she said. “Being a former basketball player, you saw female officiating all the time, so no I don’t feel like a pioneer.”

Thomas technically wouldn’t be the first female to officiate an NFL game. In 2012, Shannon Eastin was hired by the NFL as a non-union official during the 2012 lockout by referees and was the first woman to officiate a regular-season game.


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