The NFL Takes a Progressive Step Forward

Sarah Thomas is the first woman to officiate an NFL post-season game. Are you hoping to see more women referees? 

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Total Votes : 3

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Remember the name, Sarah Thomas. Formerly a basketball player, she became the first-ever female to officiate in a college football game in 2009, having the honor to referee a bowl game. Then, in 2015, she became the first-ever female to officiate in a regular season professional football game.

And recently, she got an even higher honor of getting to officiate an NFL playoff game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers. Considering the stakes of the NFL playoffs, it was an incredibly progressive move from a league that has had its flaws, especially regarding women.

But if you ask her, she did not get into this occupation just to prove a point for women.

“I set out to do this and get involved in officiating not having any idea that there were not any females officiating football,” she once told the NFL Network.

But Thompson is not the only groundbreaking woman that has made a name for herself in the NFL. In 2013, we saw Lauren Silberman break a barrier and become the first-ever female to take part in the NFL’s Regional Scouting Combine, drawing from her experience as a soccer player and trying out as a place kicker.

Two years later in 2015, the year Thomas started officiating, the Arizona Cardinals employed Jen Welter for a position described as “training camp/preseason intern coaching inside linebackers,” becoming the first-ever female coach on an NFL team, and in turn, giving us a historical on-field photo.

Before the Cardinals job, Welter worked for the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution after 14 years of playing semi-pro football and earning two gold medals from the International Federation of American Football’s Women’s World Championship.

The next steps would be women being higher up on coaching staffs and getting chances to occupy significant roles in the front office. And on the field, perhaps one day, Sarah Thomas will get the chance to officiate a Super Bowl.

To read more about this, you can check it out here on Complex.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Sarah Thomas is the first woman to officiate an NFL post-season game. Are you hoping to see more women referees?

32% Definitely
68% Not really
33% Definitely
67% Not really
29% Definitely
71% Not really


Not really

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