Sunday afternoon’s contest between the Washington Football Team and Cleveland Brown will mark the NFL’s first game to include female coaches on both sides of the field and a female referee on the officiating crew, the league’s senior director of diversity and inclusion Sam Rapoport announced Thursday.
The NFL has slowly expanded the number of female coaches in the NFL since former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians hired Jen Welter in 2015. However, history will be made Sunday when Jennifer King (Washington) and Callie Brownson (Cleveland) face off while Sarah Thomas helps call the game.
All three women boast resumes that are full of “firsts” in the NFL. Thomas became the first female official in NFL history when she started as a rookie referee in 2015. She remains the only female official in the league and last fall became the first woman to referee a playoff game.
King, the first full-time Black female coach in NFL history, was hired by Washington head coach Ron Rivera as an offensive assistant in February, joining the new regime in D.C. after interning under Rivera when he coached the Carolina Panthers. Brownson joined the Browns as the NFL’s first female chief of staff in January.
FOX Sports sideline reporter Laura Okmin announced on Twitter that she will be speaking with all three female trailblazers this week ahead of the TV broadcast on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.