The Super Bowl saw a lot of changes this year, but there is one detail about this year’s big game between Kansas City and Tampa Bay that is very noteworthy. On Sunday, Sarah Thomas made history as the very first woman to referee a Super Bowl.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, Sr. said in a statement to CBS: “Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official.” He continued, “Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor.”
Thomas boarded the seven-person team officiating the event in Tampa Bay. The crew of refs included Fred Bryan, Rusty Baynes, James Coleman, Dino Paganelli, Carl Cheffers and Mike Wimmer. The group has 88 years of NFL officiating experience and 77 combined playoff game assignments, including past Super Bowls.
Thomas was already making history two years ago when she became the first woman to referee a playoff game. In addition, she is the first full-time female referee in the NFL and first woman to work a major college football game.
With Thomas serving as referee of Super Bowl LV, she is breaking ground and will definitely not be the last woman referee at the Super Bowl.
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