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The NFL Will Make History With First Female Referee

NFL Official
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

History will be made in the NFL on Thursday night in the game between the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers. There will be plenty of women on the field for this game, cheerleaders, sideline reporters, wives and girlfriends. Only one woman, Shannon Eastin, will stand alone on the field doing something that has never been done in this history of the NFL… officiating.

Eastin will be the first ever female NFL official for Thursday’s game. Eastin is a referee in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and will get her shot at the big time as replacement official because the regular officials have been locked out by the NFL in a contract dispute.

Eastin is also a six-time judo champion and at the age of 11, was the youngest judo athlete ever to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center if you are wondering about her toughness. Eastin is keeping a low profile as she prepares for this historic moment.

This is not the first time a female has officiated a major U.S. professional sport. In 1997, Violet Palmer and Dee Kanter were referees in an NBA game. No female has ever been an umpire in a Major League Baseball game… at least not yet.

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