A Woman Will Officiate at Super Bowl for First Time in NFL History

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This year's Super Bowl is making history — and not just because it will be Tom Brady's, like, 10 millionth post-season appearance.

Sarah Thomas is slated to become the first woman in the NFL's 55-year history to be part of a Super Bowl officiating crew.

The Tampa, Florida, game will be held on February 7 and will be another legacy-making landmark for Thomas, who previously was named the first permanent female NFL official in 2015 and, then in 2019, became the first female to officiate an NFL playoff game.

"I have a precious little girl who is watching her mom — not just on the football field, but daily at home. I want her to know you can do it."

"Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official," NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent, Sr., said in a statement. "Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor."
Thomas will act as an official for Super Bowl LV alongside Carl Cheffers, Fred Bryan, Rusty Baynes, James Coleman, Eugene Hall, Dino Paganelli, and Mike Wimmer.
The 47-year-old said in an interview this week that "being selected for this year's Super Bowl in Tampa, and being the first female that has been selected ... it means a lot to me."

Never Set Out to Be First

"I have a precious little girl who is watching her mom — not just on the football field, but daily at home — and I want her to know, seeing it, believing it, and you can do it," she said, adding that her role as an official is "so meaningful."
Thomas went on to share that she "never set out to be the first, at all, in any of this," but finds it rewarding "knowing the impact I'm having on, not just my daughter, but young girls everywhere, women everywhere."
"And I have to add in young men and men too. I have two precious young men that I'm raising to be a partner with their spouse and respect [that] she's a hardworking woman," she said.
She also shared a message of inspiration to other women who are interested in following in her footsteps.
"When I started officiating, there were very few females officiating in football. Now to see so many females officiating across the country... across the world, to see the impact of the amount of females that are out there officiating football [is amazing]," she said. "My message is, do it because you love it, don't do it because you want the recognition. But I think there's power in numbers, and when you start having more, and more, and more females, no one's doing it for the recognition. They are doing it because they love it."

Tags: Groundbreaking Women, Gender Equality

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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