View Full Version : First ever female ref in the NFL

Shadow Dragon
08-10-2012, 02:56 AM
Speculation has been that the NFL thrust Eastin, who on Thursday will become the first female to officiate an NFL preseason game, into the spotlight during a tense labor negotiation with the NFL Referees Association.

That's not exactly true.

Eastin, a 42-year-old referee crew chief in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, answered an email sent by the league to potential replacements. Yes, she is aware that, like the replacement officials in 2001, she may never work another NFL game. But Eastin has always dreamed of working at least one, ever since growing up watching the game with her dad.

"For me, it is a bit of a different situation," Eastin said during a conference call on Tuesday. "It was an opportunity for me to get in and to show that I am capable. The NFL has been on the verge, and there has been a lot of talk about them wanting to bring in a female. Quite frankly, I thought this was the perfect opportunity, whether it is a trial or they see and think, 'Wow, this can work.' For me, I did give it some consideration, but I felt that it was something that I needed to do."

Even with the labor disagreement going on between the refs and the NFL, this is pretty interesting. And, there's going to be tons of pressure on her to get the calls right because of everything.

08-10-2012, 03:08 PM
Really? There's never been female refs in the NFL until now? Wow.

Justin Bossert
08-10-2012, 08:17 PM
It is a lot of pressure I'm sure. Still, it's nice to see and way overdue.

09-13-2012, 10:53 AM
Really? There's never been female refs in the NFL until now? Wow.

It usually takes a decade plus of college reffing, and excellent evaluations for the work, to get an NFL gig. There isn't exactly a big pool of female candidates. More specifically, there's only one candidate (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/19/sports/ncaafootball/19ref.html). She didn't want to be a scab.

The NFL changes out very few officials in any year, so it isn't surprising there hasn't been one yet. Thomas will probably get a full-time gig in a season or two.