The Professional American Football League (NFL) has announced that it has added Maia Chaka to its list of referees, making her the first black woman to officiate in championship matches, starting next season.
“Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance – especially as part of the NFL Referee Development Program – have earned her an official position.”, said Troy Vincent, vice-president of the body.
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“Maia is a pioneer as the first black female referee and inspires us to normalize the presence of women on the football fields”, he added.
“An accomplishment for all women”
“I am honored to have been selected as an NFL referee”, for her part said Maia Chaka. “But this moment is more important than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community and my culture. “
So far, she has refereed college championship matches, as well as NFL preseason friendlies.
“A totally historic Super Bowl! “
Maia Chaka, a physical education teacher in Virginia Beach, Virginia, graduated from Norfolk State in 2006 with an education degree.
The first woman to officiate an NFL game was Sarah Thomas, who in 2015 became the first to officiate in a Super Bowl game last month.