NFL Announces First Female Referee Will Appear in Green Bay Packers / San Diego Chargers Game
History will be made in this Thursday’s preseason opener between the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers. The NFL announced that Shannon Eastin, the first female NFL official, will make her debut in this game.
This news comes in the midst of an ongoing battle between the NFL and the officials union, with replacement referees made their debut during the Hall of Fame Game between the Saints and Cardinals. This piece of history is followed by the announcement that Eastin will be a part of Thursday night’s game in San Diego.
Eastin was a part of the officiating team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in college football before taking on this replacement role in the NFL. This opens the door into what has historically been a “men’s only” club.
In August of 2011, head of NFL Officials Carl Johnson hinted at a handful of women that were “in the pipeline” and may make an appearance in the near future. Roughly a year later, Johnson’s suggestions are proving true – albeit maybe faster that the league had intended. With the officials lockout bringing us the first woman referee, odds are good we will see more sooner rather than later – perhaps even under non-replacement conditions.