Sarah Thomas was announced as the first female official to work on an NFL crew. Her duties will start in the late summer of this year. Let’s consider a couple things about this, shall we?
Sarah Thomas will likely be a wing official–either a
linesman lineswoman (thanks, Chris), field judge, or side judge. This is on account of the fact that she’s probably very fast and has not worked as an interior official mainly because that’s where you put the old and fat officials–she is neither.
There are those that argue that women have no place officiating men’s sports. I used to be one of them, then I turned 18. The idea that a woman is automatically less qualified than a man to officiate sports is ludicrous. They have eyes to see the field and brains to learn the rules, why is it any different? It’s not.
Furthermore, I don’t buy the argument that women could never appreciate the nuances of the game because they never played. First of all, I bet you could count on one hand how many male officials played elite football. Secondly, what nuances do you mean? The nuances where the 300-pound lineman smashes into the 275-pound linebacker. Nuances indeed. She knows the rules and mechanics as well as–probably better than–the male officials.
Finally, there’s the argument that veils misogyny by acting concerned at her wellbeing because she’s going to be catcalled, harassed, and subjected to more crap simply because she’s a woman. This isn’t an untrue statement, but news flash she’s had to deal with it from the start and every day she’s ever officiated. She’s had people doubt her because of her gender since she started calling middle school football. And judging by the look of her, she is quite young for an NFL official–period. This means that not only has she been incredibly successful as an official, but also that she has overcome systemic gender bias so quickly. Whether she wants to deal with this every day is HER choice, and she’s chosen to endure all the extra crap. That should be the end of it.
Honestly, she is probably qualified to be a crew chief and is overqualified as an ordinary official. I don’t expect that it will take Sarah long to rise to the elite level shared by tenured officials the likes of Hochuli, Anderson, and Carey before he retired.
She’s going to kill it. There are of course “people” who disagree with me.
Honest to God, I think I’m going to quit Twitter.
Good luck, Sarah!