Written by Kristen Conti
Image courtesy of NBC Sports.
Taking advantage of her opportunities proved worthwhile for now full-time NFL referee Sarah Thomas.
The college basketball star and former New Orleans Saints training camp official began her quest to the big leagues in 2015, when former NFL VP of Officiating Dean Blandino confirmed her spot on the NFL ref roster.
Thomas started as a line judge in 2015 and made her way up to being a down judge in 2017, which now reflects a gender-neutral position thanks to her.
She ignited change and paved the way for female referees everywhere, especially in the NFL. Let’s see how Thomas’ pursuit influenced the female ref roster for this year’s NFL season.
How many female referees are working in the NFL in 2022?
There are three female referees in the NFL for the 2022-23 season.
During the 2021-22 season, there were only two female referees – Maia Chaka and Sarah Thomas.
Who are the female NFL football officials for 2022?
The female NFL officials for 2022 will feature two returners, Chaka and Thomas, as well as one newcomer: Robin DeLorenzo.
DeLorenzo became a down judge in 2022 following her involvement with officiating college football’s Big Ten Conference.
Who was the first female referee in the NFL?
That would be Sarah Thomas. Thomas became the first full-time female NFL official in 2015.
Six years later in 2021, Thomas became the first female official to work a Super Bowl, when the Kansas City Chiefs battled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Who was the first Black woman to referee in the NFL?
Maia Chakra, a 41-year-old Rochester, N.Y. native, became the first Black woman to be hired as a full-time official by the NFL. This occurred in September 2021.
How much do female NFL referees make?
According to a TSM Sportz report, a female referee makes a maximum pay of $1,500 for each NFL game they officiate. Female referees make a maximum single-game pay of $5,000 if they work the Super Bowl.
Who was the highest paid female NFL referee during the 2021-22 season?
During the 2021-22 NFL season, the highest paid female referee was Sarah Thomas.