NFL To Hire First Ever Female Referee: How Will Fans React?

Sarah Thomas

The NFL has done it again. They’ve made headlines.

Oh, they’ve done this before, you say?

According to a report by the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, the NFL has hired its first female game official, Sarah Thomas.

According to the report, Thomas has been in the “NFL pipeline” for several years, but they made sure this move is the right one, at the right time. It’s taken seven years for Thomas to know her stuff well enough to call a professional football game.

As pointed out by Ryan Wilson of, Thomas has worked NFL preseason games and training camps. Although, she won’t be the first female to ever officiate a game, she is the first official female hired in this position.

Shannon Eastin worked as a replacement in 2012, so she technically has the “first ever” title.

I can’t help but wonder how fans will react to this. For the most part, she should be received in a positive way since this is a first. But, the realist in me understands that there will be some backlash from those who may feel she can’t “play with the big boys.” As anyone who works in the sports world knows, you must have thick skin to work in sports. Whether you are a player, a writer, a TV anchor, a coach, or a game official, there will be haters.

Thomas is certainly paving the way for females in professional sports.