Maia Chaka, first black female NFL referee

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.

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The NFL announced Friday that it has put Maia Chaka on the list of referees who will officially referee for regular season games starting next season. An important change since she becomes the first black woman to be given such a role in the long history of the professional American football league.

« Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance – especially as part of the NFL Referee Development Program – have earned her a position as an official. », said Troy Vincent, vice-president of the body. « 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.

« I am honored to have been selected as an NFL umpire », 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.

Maia Chaka, a physical education teacher in Virginia Beach, Va., Graduated from Norfolk State in Education in 2006. The first woman to officiate an NFL game was Sarah Thomas, who became the last month the first to officiate in a Super Bowl game.


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