Though the gender barrier may never be broken for NFL players, a woman will be on the field for the first time in a regular-season game on September 9.
Shannon Eastin, who made history as the first woman to officiate an NFL preseason game when the Chargers hosted the Packers, will set a more significant precedent by becoming the first female to work an NFL game that counts.
Mike Jurecki of Xtra Sports 910 in Phoenix reports that Eastin has been assigned to work the Rams-Lions game in Detroit.
The importance of the occasion is undermined by the fact that Eastin has earned the distinction not by successfully navigating the lower levels of the sport and earning a spot in the NFL but by accepting an assignment to keep the seat of a locked-out official warm.
We think that the best persons for the officiating job should get the jobs. But if Eastin were among the best of the best officials and if we assume the NFL hires the best of the best, she’d be locked out right now.
But there’s the catch: The locked-out officials may not be locked out by Week One. We’ll have more details in a separate post.