NFL announces hiring of Sarah Thomas as full-time official

AP

When reports emerged last week that the NFL would be hiring Sarah Thomas to serve as the league’s first female full-time game official, the NFL had nothing to say.  Which said plenty.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced nine first-year officials, including Thomas.  She’ll be a line judge initially, with the ability based on performance to move into other roles — including the highest position of referee.

Thomas will be available on a national media conference call at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

The other new officials will be side judge Walt Coleman IV (son of referee Walt Coleman), line judge Kevin Codey, head linesman Hugo Cruz, head linesman Bart Longson, umpire Clay Martin, side judge Aaron Santi, field judge Shawn Smith, and side judge Jabir Walker.

The full slate of officials and crews for 2015 will be announced next month.  The appointment of nine new officials means that nine of the officials from 2014 won’t be back, unless the NFL has decided to add more total officials than it had a year ago.

45 responses to “NFL announces hiring of Sarah Thomas as full-time official

  1. Well, if they finally put a instant replay review ref in each game crew, that would be sixteen more than last season. That would be nice.

  2. I don’t care if an official is male, female, black, white, green, or purple I just want to see the best officials out there.

    kcchefs58, I agree that the NFL needs full time officials.

  3. Hithendra Reddy Just wait till she get run over by a 345 O-Lineman. #Waronwomen. The reality is, and should be, 99.9% of women would be crushed in an NFL game. This isn’t about Football, it’s about an agenda. The NFL trying to draw in more women, and look better after all the idiots in the NFL beating up women.

  4. From my limited observance of Sarah Thomas that have been made available — she seems level-headed, even-keeled and with a focus on getting the calls right. Her mindset and priorities strike me as exactly what the NFL needs — since NFL officiating, replacement refs or not, is often mind-boggling. We all get that we’re all human — some of the gaffs are beyond baffling.

    A quality official is exactly what the NFL needs, and Thomas seems to be just that. Definitely pulling for this to be a win-win-win-win for Thomas, the NFL, the fans and the players.

  5. firecracker87 says:
    Apr 8, 2015 10:31 AM
    What happens the first time a team uses her to block a cornerback and she gets hit?
    ===================

    My guess is she will probably fall down. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that she has officiated games before at various levels of the sport. I am sure she can handle herself on the field. Stop acting like the NFL decided they “needed to hire a female official” and then just grabbed some random woman off the street who is clueless about the game. She will be fine, just like every other official

  6. @ketchupaholic – while this move is no doubt motivated by the NFL’s desire to repair its image with women, the assertion that women shouldn’t be allowed to officiate because they might get hurt is ridiculous. There are plenty of male NFL officials who could also be severely injured by gigantic people playing a game at a very fast pace.

    The fact that she has “survived” playing against (slightly slower, slightly smaller) athletes in college football should be proof enough that women can handle the job.

  7. What happens when she takes her first hit and gets hurt? People need to stop being Politically Correct and stop the nonsense. Yes.. it’s great women are included in the sport as refs. But does it make sense? Is she more in danger of getting hurt that an old guy? I’ll call it a wash. But she is “NO WHERE” Near physically comparable to the men playing in the NFL. At least when a male refs gets run over, hit, it’s like shake it off. Can you imagine what the media is going to do the first time she is in the wrong place at the wrong time? You don’t think the payers on the field aren’t going to notice where she is and be extra careful? And if they aren’t? How will the media treat that first player that trucks her.

  8. Can she take Ed Hoculi in an arm wresting match?
    (J/K)
    Seriously though, if she is as good as purported, then good for her and good for the NFL.
    As long as the quality is there, gender shouldn’t matter one bit.

  9. For everyone worried about her getting crushed by a big player during the game: do you think Walt Coleman stands a better chance?

    Everyone not named “Ed Hochuli” is going on their butt, hard.

  10. Now before we begin, everyone remember this one fact: The NFL has always had perfect referees. I sure hope this woman doesn’t mess up and get a call wrong. That would be unheard of.

  11. For some strange reason, I cannot find any Austrian born NFL players or referees!

    Wait until Arnold Schwarzenegger finds out about this!!

  12. Hold up, the NFL hasn’t had full-time officials UNTIL NAO?!

    THAT…explains a lot, actually.

  13. Take a look at some of the fossils that the NFL regularly trots out onto the field for games. Some of them are so old they’ll be oil in 5 years. I think a younger female official can do an equally poor job.

  14. If the NFL had full-time officials, then the next thing you would find to complain about would be that the NFL is directly controlling the outcome of games.

  15. RegisHawk says:
    Apr 8, 2015 11:57 AM
    If the NFL had full-time officials, then the next thing you would find to complain about would be that the NFL is directly controlling the outcome of games.

    ———————————————————–

    People already do that. 🙂

  16. After reading some of these posts it appears the male egos are hurt…A women doing a mans job how can that be?..She has done college games and last I heard NFL players mostly come from the college ranks so bigger and faster doesn’t wash..And the other intelligent comment wait until she gets hit….Well look at the 70 year old refs the NFL has today I bet she bounces up quicker than they do…Rather than come up with every lame brain reason she can’t do something maybe you should park your ego’s at the door and give her a shot…Hell who knows with a female ref your girl friends may watch a game or two with you…

  17. I just hope it’s not a circus every time she is officiating with the cameras on her after every play and the announcers going on and on about it.

  18. How will they accomodate her cycle I wonder? I know with the bye weeks and Thursday night games they have a lot of flexibility but still it’s a lot of work.

  19. ketchupaholic says:Apr 8, 2015 10:35 AM

    Hithendra Reddy Just wait till she get run over by a 345 O-Lineman. #Waronwomen. The reality is, and should be, 99.9% of women would be crushed in an NFL game. This isn’t about Football, it’s about an agenda. The NFL trying to draw in more women, and look better after all the idiots in the NFL beating up women.

    _______________

    Not really a valid point considering most of the refs out there now are old skeletons of men that would be crushed as well.

    I think maybe it’s more an agenda for you than anyone else. If she get’s the call right, she’ll be my favorite.

  20. Now that the “Glass Wall” has been broken and the NFL has its first woman official I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before a certain mens magazine comes up with a “Ref’s of the NFL” issue.

  21. This is ridiculous. No need for a woman on the field of play. This is a male sport. There is something very valuable in playing experience and the understanding of the instincts of the game. She will not be any good. This is the NFL’s attempt at something universally stupid.

  22. Why stop here? They should allow women to play. With the new trend in rules, they don’t have to worry about getting hit.

  23. What happens the first time a team uses her to block a cornerback and she gets hit?
    ===
    When was the last time you saw a line judge, HL, SJ, or FJ used for a pick?

    Probably never.

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