Mississippi woman makes history as 1st female to officiate NFL playoff game

WASHINGTON — As the NFL Playoffs continued today, history was being made.

Sarah Thomas is the first woman to ever officiate an NFL playoff game, this after already becoming the first female to officiate in the college ranks.

Now in her fourth season, Thomas, who wears No. 53, became the league’s first ever female full-time official, and worked Sunday as part of referee Ron Torbert’s crew as a down judge in the New England Patriots vs. L.A. Chargers Divisional Playoff game.

The native Mississippian said she was “speechless” when she was offered the job by the NFL back in 2015. Thomas added that she was honored to be considered as a “trail blazer” for female officials, as she had previously officiated at NFL camps and practices.

Thomas stressed that she is concentrating on “being the best official I can be.” And that “I’ve just been doing this truly because I love it.”

Thomas began officiating in 1996, for the Gulf Coast Football Officials Association and worked her first high school game in 1999.

“The guys don’t think of me as a female, they see me as just another official.” Thomas said.

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