NFL enters 21st century at last by hiring a woman referee


In the aftermath of Women’s History Month and in light of all the various scandals that have rocked the foundations of the organization, at last there has been movement towards bringing more equality between men and women in the NFL.

Sadly, it’s not the formation of an actual women’s football league or letting women play football in any way. We’re still not there for some ridiculous reason.

The giant move is the hiring of the very first full-time female NFL official, Sarah Thomas. Thomas has done sideline work for the Browns, Saints and Colts in minicamp practices, according to an article on the NFL’s website.

In that same article, Thomas was said to have made her name at the NCAA level. After having first worked as an official at the high school football level she moved up the ranks into college football and was the first female official to work a major collegiate bowl game, according to the NFL.

While this is groundbreaking that she has been hired full-time, it does leave one big question unanswered: what took so long?

Granted Thomas was not the first female to referee at the NFL level. According to an article on the 49ers website, Shannon Eastin was the first female referee in a regular-season NFL game when she was chosen as a replacement official.

The only difference between the two is that Eastin was just a replacement and not offered a full-time job like Thomas.

Asking the question about why it’s taken so long for this moment isn’t meant to take anything away from the amazing accomplishment on the part of Thomas. It’s meant to highlight the fact that it is 2015 and just now are women being allowed into the all boy’s club of referees at the NFL level.

It’s great when we have the first woman something or first African-American or Asian-American or any other group being the first to have a position. It shows change and growth to a nation that is so diverse and vast that it should not be represented by just one gender or race or sexual preference at every major level.

Except that it’s 2015 and for the most part every major position at the big time levels is male dominated, in most cases straight white male dominated.

We shouldn’t be have to be celebrating the first anything at this point in our history. It should just be common that a woman can hold any position as a man at whatever level she wants if she is qualified and prepared for that position.

Instead we’re still being held back by the fact that the men in charge are too scared to let women into their boy’s only treehouses, because they might get cooties or something.

Hopefully, Thomas will just be the first of many women that begin to be allowed into referee jobs, leading to women holding higher management jobs, coaching jobs and whatever other job they want to hold.

Why can’t there be a woman coaching the 49ers at some point? Men are coaches for women’s teams at all levels that there actually are women’s sports, so there is no reason a woman can’t be a head coach of a team full of men.

It’s time to fully come out of the stone age and stop holding women back just because of fear or the desire to dominate things. Thomas and anyone else like her that gains such a position should not be judged upon their biology.

They should be judged by how they do the job. If she goes out and makes a poor call about a play on the field, rage about that.

Not that she doesn’t have a penis and somehow threatens the manhood of all those in charge just by existing.