Sarah Thomas has the opportunity to become the first female referee in NFL history.
Thomas, 39, who is currently working the New Orleans Saints practices and is one of 21 finalists of the NFL’s Officiating Development Programme.
The graduate of programme would get one of the up and coming full-time positions on an NFL officiating crew.
“I don’t feel a weight on my shoulders – it’s exciting. I didn’t set out to be the first or a pioneer, but I will embrace it, if that does happen,” she said.
The former University of Mobile basketball player became the first female to officiate a Division 1-A high school football game in Mississippi in 1996.
Since then, the now mother of three, has gone on to officiate the Senior Bowl twice, a college bowl game and worked in the United Football League.
She is now a Conference USA line judge.
Drew Brees, quarterback for the Saints, has expressed his support for the idea of female officials in NFL.
“They’re as qualified as anybody else who’s out there. It’s not easy to become an NFL official,” said Brees.
When Thomas isn’t officiating she works as a pharmaceutical representative.
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