This Woman Made History
Shannon Eastin is 42 and from Tempe, Arizona. Sunday afternoon she tucked her ponytail under her cap, and became the first woman to be an official in a regular season NFL game, working as a line judge in a game featuring the St. Louis Rams against the Detroit Lions.
Last month she was the first female to work a pre-season game (Green Bay at San Diego) and is one of the replacement officials hired by the league during labor strife with the regular refs and judges. The NFL has locked out officials during negotations.
NFL-New Female Linejudge
Eastin has worked the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, college football's 2 highest level and has over 16 years officiating experience. Originally from Massachusetts, she was a multiple national judo champion as a youth. She started officiating high school games and moved up the ranks. She owns a company, SE Sports Officiating, which trains in football and basketball.
Her cap and whistle will be the Football Hall of Fame, otherwise the NFL is not making too big a deal over her. They did make her available for a conference call in August but otherwise reserve comment. I assume they don't want to take attention away from the players and games, nor do they want to draw attention to a sticky labor situation.
As for the players they seem largely accepting, although many feel if she goes beyond line judge, she has a greater risk of getting injured. Greater risk than whom? Those regular male referees, some of whom are old and out-of-shape and none of whom wear padding of any kind?
In all the areas of gender equality that still concern society, this may be a rather odd achievment. I'm not sure if little girls watching football will say “one day I can do that too”. Are little girls even watching football? Kudos to the NFL for not trying to milk it and kudos to Shannon Eastin for getting it done. In the bigger picture, it is another small step forward. LEAVE COMMENTS.
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This is a pre-season report video.