NFL Hires First Full-Time Female Referee Sarah Thomas (Report)

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Sarah Thomas was the first female to work an NCAA game.

Sarah Thomas has reportedly been hired to referee NFL games in 2015, making her the first full-time female official hired to oversee regular season in the league's history.

Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson reported the news on Friday, but the NFL would not confirm the report, only remarking that “The 2015 roster of officials has not yet been finalized. When it is, the new officials for 2015 and the entire roster will be announced," New York Daily News reported.

Thomas is a Big Ten official who has worked preseason NFL games, and in 2007 was the first female to work an NCAA game.

Shannon Eastin was the first female NFL referee to officiate a league game and stepped in as a replacement in 2012 during the full-time referees lockout prior to the start of the season.

"The thing is, I've never set out to be the first, and that hasn't changed," Thomas told ESPN. "I do this because I love it."

The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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