Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Sarah Thomas to become first woman to officiate NFL playoff game

Sarah Thomas to become first woman to officiate NFL playoff game

On Sunday, Sarah Thomas, the NFL's first full-time female official will serve as a down judge during the AFC Divisional Playoff game.

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 11: NFL Line Judge Sarah Thomas walks on the field prior to the start of the game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 11, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan.

"This is a big deal", said Sam Rapoport, the senior director of football development at the NFL who has also advocated for more opportunities for women in football.

Thomas already had made history in 2015, becoming the NFL's first female official.

She'll work as part of referee Ron Torbert's crew as a down judge.


This will be a special moment for Thomas, a Brandon, Mississippi resident with three children, and a monumental postseason game for the entire NFL.

Meanwhile, Terri Valentini, the league's first female instant replay official, will also achieve an NFL first when she works the playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, according to Yahoo Sports. Hopefully, Thomas and Valentini will be the trailblazers for more future female National Football League officials.

That same year, her hometown of Pascagoula renamed its recreational gym in honour of the trailblazing referee and former high school basketball and softball standout.

"As women, the way we carry ourselves speaks a lot".

"I've just been doing this truly because I love it", she said.

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