NFL to have first female referee in history for playoffs
Updated 18:12, 13-Jan-2019
Li Xiang
["north america"]
Down judge Sarah Thomas will be officiating the NFL playoff game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots on Sunday, first female referee for a postseason game, according to Football Zebras.
Thomas will be joining the crew of Ron Torbert to make history. Back in 2015, she already became the first full-time female official in NFL. Two years before that, Thomas worked as the first female referee, while she was pregnant, in a NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) game. She was the line judge at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl between BYU and Washington.
NFL's vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino spoke very highly of Thomas: " Sarah's at the top of our scouting program."
Since she followed Shannon Eastin, NFL's first part-time female referee, and became a fulltime official in 2015, Thomas worked as the down judge for the past two seasons and was once picked as an alternate for the 2017 Wild Card game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons.
Amy Trask (R1), former CEO of NFL's Oakland Raiders /VCG Photo

Amy Trask (R1), former CEO of NFL's Oakland Raiders /VCG Photo

Meanwhile, Terri Valenti will also receive her first playoff assignment as the league's first female replay official for the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
In 2016, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduced the "Rooney Rule" to require that the teams interview more women for executive positions. "…We're going to make that commitment and we're going to formalize that we, as a league, are going to do that with women as well in all of our executive positions. Again, we're going to keep making progress here and make a difference," said Goodell.
Slowly but gradually, more women have entered NFL besides Thomas and Valenti. For example, Amy Trask was the former CEO of the Oakland Raiders and was called the "Princess of Darkness" by the team's fans. More women in the league can one day prove that females can be more than cheerleaders.