History has been made in the NFL as the hiring of female referee Sarah Thomas has been announced, Thomas will be the first permanent female ref in NFL history and will start in 2015.
Sarah Thomas worked very hard to get the opportunity to be a ref in the NFL, not because she would be the first woman to do so but because it has always been her dream and now her dream has become a reality.
Thomas will start as a line judge during the 2015 season and it has been a long time coming for the 41-year old who has waited for this opportunity.
The NFL's Vice President of officiating, Dean Blandino had this to say about Thomas:
"If you look at Sarah's background and her journey to get here, this is not something that happened overnight, she's been officiating 20 years and been on our radar screen for 8-9 years."
It just goes to show that the NFL wasn't just trying to make a statement, but Sarah Thomas was hired through hard work and a long wait just like any other NFL ref would be.
During a conference call with reporters, Thomas talked about her new position in the NFL, re-iterating the fact that her goal was to be an NFL ref, the fact that she broke gender barriers was just a result of her achieving her goal, saying the following,
"It's just a mindset of an official that you don't want to be seen or noticed, I know that I will probably stand out being the first, but as far as players and coaches, I've been around a good little while, and I think they know who I am and just want to make sure I can do my job."
Sarah spent time officiating in the NFL's developmental program where she started in 2013. Thomas also officiated for two seasons in the United Football League, which is now out of business. All of that is behind her now as she is officiating on the big stage.
One NFL coach familiar with Sarah Thomas is Baltimore Ravens head coach, John Harbaugh. Thomas officiated a Ravens preseason game. Harbaugh spoke of Thomas' officiating abilities, saying "She's a good ref, so it was a good choice."
Straight and to the point. It's about time that the NFL had a female ref and Sarah Thomas has lead the way for all females to achieve that goal.