Sarah Thomas has previously served as an official for NFL preseason and college games, but now it appears she is set to be the first full-time female official for the National Football League. NPR is reporting the move, which would be a “ground-breaking” hire for the NFL. The 42-year-old woman has long been thought to be a contender for an officiating contract, but the NFL had been slow when it came to making it official.
At the moment, Sarah Thomas being hired hasn’t been made official, since the National Football League won’t comment on who the new official is going to be until they release their roster. There isn’t any news on when this might happen, but in the past the roster has come out sometime in May. Should the reports be accurate, it would be another milestone in Sarah Thomas’ career. Back in 2007, she became the first female to officiate a major NCAA football game. She has worked for Conference USA and has worked a number of bowl games.
Thomas wouldn’t be the first woman to officiate an NFL game, that honor belongs to Shannon Eastin who worked a game during the officials’ lockout for a few games a couple of years back. Thomas would, however, become the first full-time female official who would work an entire season, should the reports be true.