[Ed. – Thanks but no thanks. We’ll wait for the first gender-neutral, differently abled, fat-shamed Pacific Islander to be named referee before we start handing out cigars.]
Maia Chaka will be the first Black woman to work as an NFL referee when she takes the field in her new role this fall. The NFL made the announcement Friday morning on the “TODAY” show ahead of a live interview with Chaka.
“It didn’t really hit me until just now when I saw the introduction,” Chaka, who has been working Pac-12 Conference games, told “TODAY.” “I’m like, this is really real. This is something that we’re always taught to work hard for and sometimes we just don’t take time to stop and smell our own roses. And I’ve just been grinding for so long in this. It’s an honor to be able to join the National Football League.”
She is one of two women working as NFL referees and joins Sarah Thomas at the game’s highest ranks seven years after made history together at the FBS level.