Sarah Thomas To Become First Woman To Officiate NFL Playoff Game

sarah thomas nfl referee line judge official first woman

Sarah Thomas, pictured as a line judge during a 2015 Steelers-Chargers game. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- NFL Line Judge Sarah Thomas will become the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game during Sunday's Patriots-Chargers divisional round match-up, according to CNN.

Thomas, a pharmaceutical sales rep, has been with the league for four years. She joined the NFL's roster of game officials in 2015 after graduating from the NFL Officiating Development Program, according to the NFL Operations website. She was the first woman to hold a full-time officiating assignment in the league.

Before that, she became the first woman to officiate a major college football game in 2007--and was the first woman to officiate in a Big Ten stadium in 2011.

In a notable incident from 2017, Thomas took a hit on the sidelines of a Packers-Vikings game, breaking two bones in her wrist--but after going through concussion protocol, she returned to finish officiating the game.

 

In a 2017 SBNation profile, Thomas described her journey to becoming an NFL official: "Well, it’s new, and a lot of people want to talk about it ... Because you sit back, and you think, it was 2015 and there was still a gender barrier that needed to be broken in a major organization."

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