Who is Sarah Thomas? NFL official makes history as first female to officiate at Super Bowl - OLD

·2-min read
<p>Sarah Thomas will become the first female official at the Super Bowl</p> (Getty)

Sarah Thomas will become the first female official at the Super Bowl

(Getty)

Sarah Thomas will make history tonight in Super Bowl LV when she becomes the first female official in the NFL’s biggest game.

Thomas will make up one part of the seven-person crew in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.

After beginning her officiating journey as a Line Judge, tonight the back of her jersey will show "DJ”, which stands for Down Judge.

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That position has changed name in recent years, after previously being known as ”HL”, or Head Linesman, with the role altered to avoid reflecting gender.

Thomas started her career in the NFL in 2015, as the first full-time female official, graduating from the league’s Officiating Development Program, which helps the transition from college football to the professional league.

One highlight of Thomas' in the college ranks was being the first female official to take charge of a bowl game, which took place in Detroit at the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2009.

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Her first NFL play-off game arrived in January 2019 during the 2018 Divisional Play-Off game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots.

A mother of three, Thomas works in marketing for an in-home hospice company based in Mississippi, while she has outstanding collegiate sporting experience at the University of Mobile, where she earned a scholarship as a basketball player.

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"When you start having more and more and more females," Thomas recently said. “No one's doing it for the recognition. They are doing it because they love it."

Thomas joined the NFL in 2015Getty
Thomas joined the NFL in 2015Getty

While Thomas received praise from Troy Vincent Sr, the NFL's executive vice resident of football operations.

"Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official," said Vincent, Sr.

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"Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honour."

Joining Thomas on the field in the game will be referee Carl Cheffers, alongside umpire Fred Bryan, line judge Rusty Baynes, field judge James Coleman, side judge Eugene Hall, back judge Dino Paganelli and replay official Mike Wimmer.

Together the seven-person crew has 88 years of experience officiating in the NFL and 77 combined play-off games.

Super Bowl LV is live on BBC One, Sky Sports NFL/Main Event, Sky One and NFL Game Pass on Sunday, February 7, kick-off 11.30 p.m.

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