Maia Chaka makes history by becoming NFL’s first Black female official

Maia Chaka, NFL

The sporting world continues to create more roles for women with the NFL hiring Maia Chaka as an official. She’s the first Black female official in NFL history and the second woman to be hired after Sarah Thomas.

Chaka has quite a bit of experience, making her more than qualified to be an official in the NFL. She started her career refereeing college football, where she recently spent time in the Pac-12. Before COVID-19 shut it down, Chaka also worked XFL games, as well as this year’s Senior Bowl. Additionally, she also has experience working in the NFL preseason, which was a part of the league’s officiating development program.

This is a big step in the right direction for the NFL and sports in general. We’ve already seen women breaking the glass ceiling in sports in recent years, as some NBA and NFL franchises have provided coaching opportunities to women as well. Having worked their way up the latter, Maia Chaka and Sarah Thomas reunite after spending time together in Conference USA in 2014.

Chaka seems grateful for the position as she’s paves the way for more opportunities for all women down the road:

“I’ve just been grinding for so long at this, it’s just an honor to be able to join the National Football League,” Chaka said this morning on Today, via ProFootballTalk.

With the NFL continuing to open its doors to women, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds. This likely means one day we’ll have a full female crew officiating NFL games. With women on NBA and NFL coaching staffs, we could see a female head coach within these prominent leagues sooner rather than later.

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Maia Chaka makes history by becoming NFL’s first Black female official