Maia Chaka Makes History as NFL's First Black Woman Game Official

Maia Chaka Makes History as NFL's First Black Woman Game Official


Maia Chaka is making waves as the first Black woman official in NFL history.

Chaka, previously a health and physical education teacher from Virginia Beach, has been hired as an on-field official for the 2021 NFL season. The news was announced by the league over the weekend, just six years after NFL hired Sarah Thomas as its very first female full-time official.

In an official statement, she said, “I am honored to be selected as an NFL official. But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”

Prior to the NFL, Chaka had various stints as a collegiate officiator, including in the Pac-12 Conference and Conference USA, as well as in the XFL in 2020. In 2014, the NFL selected her for its Officiating Development Program where she gained further experience working with some of the top collegiate and NFL officials.

NFL executive VP of football operations Troy Vincent, Sr. comments on Chaka’s work ethic, “Maia’s years of hard work, dedication and perseverance – including as part of the NFL Officiating Development Program – have earned her a position as an NFL official. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Maia is a trailblazer as the first Black female official and inspires us toward normalizing women on the football field.”

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