NFL Gets First Female Referee

Sarah Thomas is a full-time hire for the upcoming season
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2015 3:04 PM CDT
NFL Gets First Female Referee
Referee trainee Sarah Thomas, right, talks to Cleveland Browns equipment manager Brad Melland during a practice in this 2014 file photo.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

The NFL is getting its first full-time female referee in the upcoming season. The news of Sarah Palmer's hire first came via tweet from a Baltimore Sun reporter, and the Los Angeles Times has confirmed. The league itself hasn't made the news public, but the LAT reports that current officials have been informed that seven men and one woman will be joining their ranks. Palmer already is the first woman to work a major college game and a bowl game. The line judge is a mother of three who played college basketball. One asterisk: Shannon Eastin became the first woman to ref an NFL game in 2012, when she was among the replacements brought in during the league's contract fight with officials. Palmer, though, is the first full-time hire. (More NFL stories.)

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