Sarah Thomas creates history by becoming the first woman to referee at a Super Bowl game
Sarah Thomas, the referee for the Super Bowl LV finale, created history on Sunday night by becoming the first-ever woman to officiate a Super Bowl game in the history of the National Football League (NFL).
Thomas, who happens to be the only woman in a group of eight referees, was a down judge on head referee Carl Cheffers' team. Her role included overseeing the line of scrimmage, ruling on sideline plays, managing the chain gang, counting offensive players, and reminding the head referee of the current down.
Media reports quoted Thomas as saying, “Being selected for this year’s Super Bowl in Tampa, it means a lot to me. I have a precious little girl who is watching her mom not just on a football field, but daily at home.”
The head referee was Carl Cheffers; the umpire was Fred Bryan; the line judge was Rusty Barnes, the side judge was Eugene Hall, and the back judge was Dino Paganelli for the finale game.
The entire team has 88 years’ experience with the NFL, counting 77 playoff games together.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers crushed Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida with an epic score of 31-9.
Thomas began her career in 1996 and was the referee for numerous college games and other Bowl games. She was later chosen as one among the 21 candidates who were considered for an NFL official position in 2013.
Two years later, the NFL declared that Thomas was the first permanent woman official in the history of the organization. She has worked for four post-season games in six seasons with the NFL.
Thomas has also shown her dedication to the game during several instances. During a game with Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers in 2016, she faced a mid-game collision and had to be sent to the medics to check for injuries. However, she returned to the field soon and stayed behind to finish refereeing despite having a broken wrist.