Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Report: NFL set to hire its first female game official

Saints Camp Football

Sarah Thomas, who is working to become the first full-time NFL official, officiates during the New Orleans Saints NFL football training camp in Metairie, La., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)


Fridays of holiday weekends are generally for dropping bad news, but the NFL may be about to announce a groundbreaking one.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the NFL has apparently hired its first female official, Sarah Thomas.

Thomas has been in the officiating pipeline for several years, and has been working at the college level while learning the NFL game.

She has worked camps and preseason games in the past, and technically wouldn’t be the first female on an NFL field, since Shannon Eastin worked a game during the replacement-ref era.

The league has had significant turnover in its officiating ranks in recent years, as they’ve tried to improve the part of the game which is practically built on human error.

But while new officials are a welcome addition, the addition of Thomas marks a milestone for a league too long bound by the old ways.