Member of NFL’s first all-Black officiating crew has ties to DC area

NFL back judge Greg Steed (12) prior to an NFL football game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

The NFL will have an all-Black officiating crew for the first time in league history when the Rams play the Buccaneers on Monday night — and one of the crew members lives in the D.C. area.

Back judge Greg Steed is a Howard University graduate and lives in the D.C. area. He has officiated multiple Super Bowls, including Super Bowl LIV in February 2020.

Courtesy of the NFL, Steed shared his thoughts on being a part of the historic game with WTOP.

Along with Steed, the crew consists of: referee Jerome Boger, umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, side judge Dale Shaw and field judge Anthony Jeffries.

Five members of the crew work together regularly. Johnson and Steed will join the group for this game. The crew has a combined 89 seasons in the league and has worked six Super Bowls.

“This historic Week 11 crew is a testament to the countless and immeasurable contributions of Black officials to the game, their exemplary performance, and to the power of inclusion that is the hallmark of this great game,” said Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations.

“I am proud of my heritage and excited about my participation in this historic game,” Boger said. “The opportunity to work with a great group of Black officials and exhibit our proficiency in executing our assignment is something I am really looking forward to.”

The league has assigned crews based on geography this season to limit travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Crew assignment guidelines have also been relaxed to assign officials to games closer to their homes when feasible.

The first Black official in any major sport was Burl Toler, hired by the NFL in 1965.

WTOP’s Rob Woodfork contributed to this report.

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