Maia Chaka Makes History as the First Black Woman to Officiate an NFL Game

By Rashad Grove,

Maia Chaka made history by becoming the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game on Sunday, Sporting News reports.

Maia Chaka officiating NFL game
Image: Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Making her debut as a line judge during the New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers game, Chaka is only the third on-field female official in the history of the NFL. She joins Sarah Thomas, the first permanent female game official and Shannon Eastin, who was the first woman to officiate an NFL game.

“This historic moment to me is an honor, and it’s a privilege that I’ve been chosen to represent women and women of color in the most popular sport in America, proving that I can defy the odds and overcome and pretty much master a craft of a sport that I didn’t really play but I have a love and a passion for,” Chaka in a video tweeted by the NFL. “And hopefully that just gives somebody else, you know, some inspiration and empowers them to step outside the box and do something different.” 

“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance — including as part of the NFL Officiating Development Program — have earned her a position as an NFL official,” Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL executive vice president of football operations, said. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”

Read the full article here.

Learn more about Black women trailblazers in sports here and here.

More Breaking News here.

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