As many people are aware the NFL is dominated by big names such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and many more. One name you might not have heard of is Sarah Thomas. Sarah is the first female referee in NFL history. She has broken many barriers so far in her career of refereeing, she was the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first to officiate a bowl game, and the first to officiate in a Big Ten stadium. She made her debut in the NFL in her 2015 season and continues to referee there.
Another name that may not be that common is Kathryn Smith, Kathryn became the first full-time female coach in the NFL. She is the quality control special teams coach for the Buffalo Bills. Although the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Walter to help coach linebackers the season before, she wasn’t full time, making Smith the first female coach. Rex Ryan who is coach of the Bills said “You can see the success some of these young ladies are having in the coaching program, Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years she has worked on our staff, and she definitely earned this promotion.”
As we can see there seems to be a trend of women working their way into spots in the NFL, we saw similarities in the NBA which has hired three female referees. So are woman finally making the push to equalize the gender roles in professional sports? The disparity between the number of males in roles of coaches, referees, and executive compared to women are still very uneven, but we can see change working in the right direction, who knows what the future could hold for women in professional sports, but we can only hope the trend of women landing roles continue.