Sarah Thomas is set to become the first woman in the history of the NFL to work regular season games. There have been women in the past who were part of the referee crew, but they have only called preseason games at best.


Tom Reed of the Northeast Ohio Media Group noted last June that Thomas had joined the NFL’s development program for new officials in 2013. That led to training camp assignments to get acclimated to the rules and environment.

Reed also provided comments from Thomas about her goal of simply being viewed as an official.

“Being raised with brothers I’m just one of the guys, I guess,” she said. “I don’t try to be one of the guys. I am a female, but I don’t look at myself as just a female. I look at myself as an official. With their respect and the respect that I have for them, it just doesn’t feel like it’s a male-dominated profession.”

Now she will get an opportunity to apply her trade at the highest level of football. Although the progress toward getting more women involved may have been a bit sluggish, it’s still a key turning point and one that should open the door for others to follow in her footsteps.